United Nations Government Information

Security Council

The Security Council is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. This can be done by a number of different actions, from investigating a situation that has the potential to lead to war to recommending economic sanctions or the use of armed forces. It is made up of five permament members, The United States, The United Kingdom, France, Russia and China, and 10 non-permanent members that are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms.' The Council is technically always 'on call' and ready to convene whenever there is a crisis (See Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council for further info on the operations of the Security Council). There is a set procedure to conduct business in this U.N. organ

1. Agenda

2.Verbatim Records & Speeches

3. Resolution

4. Vote

5 . Presidential Statement

Annual Report

Other important items for the Security Council

Subsidiary and Ad Hoc Bodies

Other Research Aids for Security Council

 

AGENDA

An agenda of items that will be discussed is set up.

About This Resources
Online, search Agendas under number S/Agenda/number of meeting.
Digital Paper

United Nations Bibliographic Information System (UNBISNET) has agendas back to 1975.

Official Records/ United Nations, Security Council has from 1946-1990.


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PV (PROCES VERBAL)

Verbatim records are kept of the Security Council meetings.

About This Resources
Search online. The U.N. Doc Symbol for agendas isnumber S/PV.number of meeting. For example, S/PV.4726 "Iraq-Kuwait Situation" is a Proces Verbal Document from the 4726th meeting of the Security Council.
Digital Paper

United Nations Bibliographic Information System (UNBISNET) has vertabim records and full-texts, some back to the 1940s.

AccessUN , has some proces verbal citations from the Security Council. To search, type s/pv* in the field in Document Number. (See AccessUN instructions for more search information and Document Type for more information about U.N. documents).

Official Records/ United Nations, Security Council has from 1946-1990.

 

SPEECHES

Members and invited speakers (e.g. presidents and prime minsiters) give speeches at the U.N. on a variety of subjects.

About This Resources
Online, you can search by speaker or U.N. Doc. Symbol. For older paper copies, you need to search by the date and the committee or organ.
Digital Paper

Speeches

UNBISnet: Index to Speeches has full-text of speeches back to 1983 (38th session).

Official Records contains all speeches given at the Security Council from 1946 -1990.

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RESOLUTION

The major document type for the Security Council is the Resolution, which describes the situation and the actions that will be taken by the U.N., for example to setting up economic sanctions or call on nations to do a certain act. It is the will of the organization. A Decision, on the other hand, is the will of the organization about an internal affair affecting the U.N. only, such as elections or appointments.

Resolutions have a certain structure. They have a Preamble and Operative Part:

About This Resource

Using online searching, the resolutions are numbered s/res/consecutive number (year) . For example, S/RES/1483(2003) " [on lifting the economic sanctions on Iraq imposed by resolution 661 (1990)] " is a Security Council resolution numbered 1483 adopted in 2003. .

Digital Paper

United Nations Bibliographic Information System (UNBISNET) has full-text back to 1946. To search for General Assembly resolutions, type sres* in UN Doc Symbol field. (See UNBISNET for more search information).

AccessUN , an index of resolutions back to 1944 and full-text back to 1980. To search for General Assembly resolutions, type s/res in the field in Document Number. (See AccessUN instructions for more search information and Document Type for more information about U.N. documents).

Resolutions of the Security Council goes from 1946-1986.

Meetings conducted / Actions taken by the Security Council: This guide is an excellent legislative history of resolutions back to 1996. Includes meeting records, resolutions, presidential statements and press releases.

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VOTE

Any resolution is passed with nine votes. However, the permanent members have vetoing power. A negative vote by one of them can stop any resolution on substantive issues

About This Resource

Use the numbering system for resolutions. The record will have the votes. For example, S/RES/1483(2003) " [on lifting the economic sanctions on Iraq imposed by resolution 661 (1990)] " had 14 votes yes (Y) and one country chose not vote (blank).

Digital Paper

UNBISnet: Voting Record Search Use this database to get voting records for resolutions (You can search by keyword or resolution symbols. Click on the citation to get the roll call).

Resolutions of the Security Council goes from 1946-1986.

The UN Veto in World Affairs, 1946-1990: a Complete Record and Case Histories of the Security Council's Veto

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PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT

The President of the Security Council issues statements, which summarize the Council's activities.

About This Resource

Search for this document online for full text or a citation.

Prior to 1994, S/sequential number . For example, S/22133 is document number 22133 from the Security Council.

Since 1994, S/PRST/year/sequential number. For example, S/PRST/1996/37 is the 37th statement of the President of the Security Council concerning mine clearance.

Digital Paper

United Nations Bibliographic Information System (UNBISNET)

AccessUN has citations back to back to 1944.

You will need to submit an interlibrary loan request (ILL) for older paper items.

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Also look at:

ANNUAL REPORT

The Security Council's Annual Report to the General Assembly on its activities is published as Supplement No. 2 to the Official Records of the General Assembly. This report covers questions considered by the Security Council and the work of the Council's subsidiary bodies.

About This Resource
This document is Supplement 2 to the Official Records of the Security Council. The numbering system is A/session number/2. For example A/60/2 "Report of the Security Council 1 August 2004-31 July 2005" is a part of the Official Records of the 60th session (2005), supplement 2.
Digital Paper

United Nations Bibliographic Information System (UNBISNET) Please use numbering system below.

AccessUN has citations back to back to 1944.

Official Records/ United Nations, Security Council has from 1946-1990.

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SUBSIDIARY AND AD HOC BODIES


Subsidiary and ad hoc bodies that report to the Security Council, for example all peacekeeping operations and inspection teams. In the U.N. Organizational Chart , click on the body's name to be taken to its website.

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OTHER RESEARCH AIDS FOR SECURITY COUNCIL

Press Releases are a good source of basic information about U.N. activity. Search under Security Council in the Subject field. You can then delimit by keyword. So, following this procedure, a keyword search with the United States would bring up press releases of the General Assembly dealing with the U.S.

UN Document Centre has many Security Council documents online full-text. They include, among others, Secretary-General Reports back to 1994, President Statements, Sanctions Committees Documents, Press Releases and Resolutions back to 1946. (For more information about U.N. documents, go to Document Type).

United Nations Bibliographic Information System (UNBISNET) has bibliographic records going back to 1979, and full-text back to 1992. However, they are constantly digitizing more older records. Use "s" in UN Doc. Symbol field to search for Security Council Documents.

AccessUN , an index of U.N. material back to 1944, allows you to search by organ. If you put in s for Document Number, only Securtiy Council documents will be retrieved. So, this search below with s in Document and korea in Subjects will bring up records of documents produced by the Security Council pertaining to Korea. (See AccessUN instructions for more search information and Document Type for more information about U.N. documents).

Documents Rearch Guide The U.N. has published online a very good and detailed research guide for the Security Council.

Yearbook of the United Nations is an annual publication of the U.N. that gives a very good summary of the events and documents produced that year at the U.N.

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Don't forget! You can always consult me, Tom Stieve, or send an Interlibrary Loan request for the item if it's not here.

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