In Hindsights

  • 1 August 2013

    The Media Stakeout

    In February 2011 we identified a notable reduction in appearances at the Security Council media stakeout since renovations had begun on the Council chamber. An analysis of the number of stakeouts during the entire renovation period prompts us to ask once more whether such reduced use will continue to be the status quo now that the Council is back in its refurbished chamber or whether Council members will reinvigorate this mechanism.

  • The AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) is the only international body with which members of the Security Council have regular interactions. They have been meeting annually since 2007, alternating between their respective headquarters.

  • A visiting mission has been a tool the Council has used—since it first travelled to Cambodia and Viet Nam in 1964—for a number of purposes, including preventive diplomacy, gathering first-hand information, supporting peace processes and mediation.

  • From November 2010 through March 2012, with a break in December 2010 during the US presidency of the Council), “horizon-scanning” briefings by the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) were a regular feature of the programme of work of the Security Council. The UK initiated these briefings to provide the Council with information that might allow for better preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention. Additionally it was hoped that this format would allow for an unscripted exchange of ideas.

  • On 26 November 2012, the Council held an open debate on its working methods. The all-day meeting enabled member states to take stock of what had been an eventful year on working methods, which culminated in two presidential notes being agreed in December in addition to the note of 5 June.

  • 28 September 2012


    After the conclusion of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) on 19 August and decreased Council activity on Syria, it may be timely to take stock of the Council’s response to the situation.

  • On 29 August, the Secretary-General reissued the report on Eritrea (S/2012/412) initially circulated to Council members on 8 June. In resolution 2023 of 5 December 2011 (which condemned Eritrean violations of resolutions 1844, 1862 and 1907 and imposed new measures...

  • Over the past two years or so, the Security Council has on several occasions chosen to communicate a set of complex political messages through press statements rather than a presidential statement or a resolution. The only mode of communication of Council decisions or views that is recognised in the Council's Provisional Rules of Procedure is a resolution.

  • On 30 November 2011, the Council held an open debate on its working methods, the fourth such debate on the issue with35 delegations participating, including 20 members at large. As president, Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral (Portugal) volunteered to speak last, allowing him to sum up the debate.