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UN Documentation: Security Council

Resolutions of the Security Council

Resolutions of the Security Council are first published as individual documents consecutively numbered since 1946.

All Security Council resolutions are included in the annual compilations of Resolutions and Decisions.

Adopted resolutions are usually voted on in open formal meetings of the Security Council. The vote is recorded in the meeting record.

An exception is the resolution recommending a candidate for Secretary-General to the General Assembly, which is adopted in a closed meeting with no recorded vote, in accordance with General Assembly resolution A/RES/11 (I) of 1946.

Presidential Statements

Presidential statements are first published as individual documents.

Before 1994, they were issued in the general Security Council series.

  • symbol pattern S/--
  • example: S/26695

They are included in the annual compilations of Resolutions and Decisions.

Presidential statements are issued following consultations. There is no vote on a presidential statement.

Decisions of the Security Council

Decisions of the Security Council are usually on procedural matters.  They are unnumbered and, as they are not issued as individual documents, have no document series symbol assigned to them. 

Annual Compilations of the Resolutions and Decisions

Annual compilations of Security Council resolutions, decisions, and presidential statements, cover the period from 1 August - 31 July, and form part of the Security Council Official Records (SCOR). They are organized by topic, not sequentially.

  • symbol pattern: S/INF/--
  • example: S/INF/70

From 1994-2005, there were unofficial Press Release compilations which were issued much in advance of the official publication. UN-I-QUE lists the symbols (up to 2012) for both the SCOR and the Press Release compilations.

Historical Note on Numbering of Security Council Resolutions

From 1946-1964 Security Council resolutions were issued as S/-- documents. 

In 1965, resolution numbers were assigned to all previously adopted resolutions, starting with S/RES/1 (1946) and finishing with S/RES/199 (1964). References to Security Council resolutions, 1946-1964, may cite the original document symbol or the S/RES/- symbol. 

Revised annual compilations were issued for the years 1946-1964, in the S/INF/- series.

According to the Note at the front of the volumes of the revised annual compilations:

"The resolutions are numbered in the order of their adoption. The document symbol which appears in square brackets under the title of the resolution is the symbol that was used to identify the text before the adoption, in 1964, of the system of numbering used in the present volume, which has been applied retroactively to the resolutions adopted earlier by the Council."

The "Consolidated check list of resolutions of the Security Council, 1946-1964" (S/INF/19/Rev.1/Add.1) lists all retrospectively assigned resolution numbers and the original document symbol of the resolution.

Screenshot of A/INF/19/Rev.1/Add.1 showing a table with the resolution number, date, original symbol and subject of the resolutions.

Note: S/INF/4/Rev.1 and S/INF/5/Rev.1 are identical documents (except the symbol). The original S/INF/5 was not part of the annual compilation series.