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The United Nations Security Council does not have a mandate to protect and promote human rights. It does, however, have tools for positive action both to prevent serious human rights violations and to promote accountability for mass atrocities. This paper examines the ways in which the Security Council has contributed to protecting human rights, the various activities it is currently carrying out in this field and the possibilities for further action by the Council, especially in the fields of preventive diplomacy and in the delicate issue of ensuring accountability in cases of genocide, crimes against humanity, and major core human rights violations within a conflict. Furthermore, this paper will study the ways in which inculcating a human rights culture throughout the Security Council’s work would ensure that a human dimension is considered by Council members when taking decisions on the maintenance of international peace and security.