What's In Blue

Posted Wed 26 Oct 2011

Adoption of the Security Council Annual Report

The Security Council annual report for the period 1 August 2010 to 31 July 2011 has been put under silence procedure and is scheduled for adoption tomorrow (27 October) morning. The annual report covers matters considered by the Security Council as well as the work of the Council’s subsidiary bodies during the reporting period. Following the adoption of the annual report tomorrow, the General Assembly will consider it on Tuesday, 8 November.

As president of the Council in July, Germany prepared the draft introduction with the participation of all 15 Council members. The Secretariat is responsible for preparing the body of the report. Despite Germany’s efforts to respond to the requests of some member states to make the introduction more analytical, it appears that this year’s report will again be largely factual in nature. In spite of this, it seems there were differences among Council members over language used in describing the situation in Kosovo and Libya that needed to be resolved.

It appears that some members are hoping that this year there will be more substantive debate on the issues addressed in the introduction of the report than in previous years. (The President of the General Assembly granted Germany’s request for the General Assembly to consider the issue of the annual report and the issue of equitable representation and membership of the Security Council separately. In the past it was covered under the same agenda item and attention tended to focus on Security Council reform rather than the annual report.)

This will be the second year in which the annual report has been prepared in accordance with the note by the president of 26 July 2010 (S/2010/507), which provided a comprehensive annex of practices and understandings of measures to guide the Council’s work. Chapter XII of the note sets out four guidelines for the drafting of the introduction, stating that the president should consult current and immediate past elected members of the Council. This is seen as particularly important as the report sometimes covers a period during which the July president—as is the case with Germany—was not on the Council.

It is possible some of the issues related to the annual report contained in the 26 July presidential note may be raised during the working methods debate which is likely to be held during Portugal’s presidency in November.