United nations security council
Source description last updated: 18 October 2016

In brief: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC), one of the six main organs of the UN, is responsible for maintaining international peace and security. The UNSC regularly publishes reports about their international missions and worldwide developments concerning politics, security, human rights etc.

Coverage on ecoi.net:
Reports of the Secretary-General (PR/SR), Mission Reports and Sanction Panel Group Reports (SR)
Covered weekly on ecoi.net, for countries of priorities A-C.

“According to the Charter, the United Nations has four purposes: to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.
All members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. While other organs of the United Nations make recommendations to member states, only the Security Council has the power to make decisions that member states are then obligated to implement under the Charter.” (UN Security Council: About, undated)

“As stated in Article 24 of the Charter of the United Nations, the Security Council is mandated to act on behalf of all members of the United Nations to “ensure prompt and effective action” with respect to the maintenance of international peace and security, and shall act in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations.” (UN Security Council: Frequently Asked Questions, undated)

“The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.” (UN Security Council: The Security Council, undated)

See the UN Charter’s chapters V, VI, VII, VIII and XII for details: http://www.un.org/en/charter-united-nations/

UN budget.

“While decisions about establishing, maintaining or expanding a peacekeeping operation are taken by the Security Council, the financing of UN Peacekeeping operations is the collective responsibility of all UN Member States. Every Member State is legally obligated to pay their respective share towards peacekeeping. […] The approved budget for UN Peacekeeping operations for the fiscal year 1 July 2016-30 June 2017 is $7.87 billion.” (United Nations Peacekeeping website: Financing peacekeeping, undated)

Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: All countries involved in conflicts/disputes or in situations which might lead to international friction.
In 2015, “much of the Council’s activity focused on Africa, including meetings on Burkina Faso, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Somalia, the Sudan and South Sudan, and Western Sahara.” (UN Security Council website: Annual Report 2015, 2015, p.10)
Thematic focus: Any threats to international peace; security and peace; international conflicts and disputes.

Security Council Mission Reports are based on information acquired by the mission delegation through meetings with representatives of governments, parties, civil society, UN agencies and other organisations in the countries concerned. Information on the terms of reference and composition of a mission (and, sometimes, on the programme) is contained in the annex of the mission reports.
The Reports of the Secretary-General to the Security Council are based on information provided by UN field missions, UN agencies, representatives of the Secretary-General and other organisations. (ACCORD: Researching Country of Origin Information - A Training Manual, April 2004 (updated April 2006), Annex, p. 29, http://www.coi-training.net/content/doc/en-COI%20Manual%20Part%20I%20plus%20Annex%2020060426.pdf, accessed on 29 May 2008).
Language(s) of publications:
Reports are usually published in English and other UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish)

Further reading / links:
United Nations Peacekeeping

A non-profit organization providing information and analysis on the UN Security Council’s activities: Security Council Report

All links accessed 18 October 2016.
All documents available on ecoi.net from this source