The Security Council of the United Nations is responsible for the maintenance of global peace and security and in 2009 added Resolution 1904, reaffirming the need to combat by ‘all means’ the threat posed to international peace caused by terrorist acts. In 2009, the Security Council also supported a mandate to assist Libya for three months in its effort to rebuild itself. The Council has five permanent members: China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, there are ten further members who are elected for two-year terms. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an alliance between North American and European states and acts as a collective defence system. Similar systems are the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, the Central Treaty Organization (formerly known as the Middle East Treaty Organization), the South American Defence Council and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization.
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