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UN Documentation: Security Council  

Last Updated: Jan 8, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Security Council Discusses UN Mission in Iraq The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Chapters V-VII, Articles 23-54, of the UN Charter concern the Security Council.

The Security Council has 15 members:

  • Five permanent members with veto power:
    • China
    • France
    • Russian Federation
    • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
    • United States of America
  • Ten non-permanent members, five of which are elected each year by the General Assembly for a two-year term.

The Security Council does not meet sessionally but stands ready to convene at any time as the need arises.

Security Council Considers Situation Concerning Democratic Republic of Congo

The Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council are contained in document S/96/Rev.7 (Sales number 83.I.4).

Background information about the work of the Council can be retrieved from the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council as well as from the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs.

The basic format for the symbols of Security Council documents is:

  • S/year/sequential number:
  • From 1946 to 1993, the format was S/sequential number:

All plenary documents of the Security Council, 1946-present, are available online.

Key Resources

  • Official Document System (ODS)
    United Nations official document system: provides full text search of documents issued since 1993; resolutions of all principal organ & Security Council plenary documents since 1946 ; older documents are added regularly. Includes the Daily Journals of New York and Geneva.
  • Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council
    Constitutional and procedural guide to the proceedings of the Council since 1946. It presents, as comprehensively as possible, relevant data regarding the practice of the Council and the application of the UN Charter and the Council's provisional rules of procedure.
  • Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs
    Analytical studies of the decisions of the UN principal organs under each of the Articles of the Charter ; Comprehensive summary of the decisions of United Nations Organs, together with review of related material, organized by Charter Articles.
  • Security Council Meetings & Actions
    Full text of meeting records form 1994. Also includes links to resolutions, presidential statements and communiqué.
  • Security Council Presidential Statements
    Full text of Presidential Statements organized by year from 1994
  • Security Council Resolutions
    Full text of resolutions organized by year from 1946.
  • UN Meetings Coverage and Press Releases
    Available online from October 1995. Press Releases are not official documents but provide timely information on the current activities of the principal organs and subsidiary bodies, including summaries of meetings.
  • UN Yearbook
    The Yearbook of the United Nations is the principal reference work of the UN and provides a detailed overview of the Organization's activities during the course of a year. All the Yearbooks, 1945 to the most recent, are available online and provide citation to the documentation and include the full text of resolutions.
  • UN-I-QUE
    UN Info Quest (UN-I-QUE) provides citation to the symbols for documents throughout the history of the organization: each record within UN-I-QUE is historically comprehensive. UN-I-QUE does not provide citation to all documents, but to certain documents of a recurrent nature.
  • UNBISnet - Bibliographic Records
    UNBISnet is the catalogue of the UN Library in New York. In addition to the library's holdings it accesses multilingual versions of UN documents (1993-present), citation to documents (1979-present) ; metadata and online links to older documents are added regularly.
  • UNBISnet - Index to Speeches
    Provides access to meeting records of the Principal organs, beginning in the mid-1980s, by country or organization, speaker, document symbol, or topic.
  • UNBISnet - Voting Records
    Provides the recorded vote for all resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and Security Council, 1946-present. Documents can be searched by resolution symbol, keyword, or date.


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