United Nations Government Information
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
Other important items for the Security Council
An agenda of items that will be discussed is set up.
PV (PROCES VERBAL)
Verbatim records are kept of the Security Council meetings.
Members and invited speakers (e.g. presidents and prime minsiters) give speeches at the U.N. on a variety of subjects.
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:
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
The President of the Security Council issues statements, which summarize the Council's activities.
Also look at:
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.
SUBSIDIARY AND AD HOC BODIES
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.