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22 December 2019

Chapter 3:   THE PEOPLE

Section 1:   The President


Viet Nam, joining the Security Council in 2020, will immediately serve as January Council President


Viet Nam, which will take up its seat on the Security Council in 2020, will immediately serve as Council President for the month of January. 


Given the complex matters on the Security Council’s agenda, coupled with its increasingly intricate procedures, coming up to speed is a daunting task for incoming elected members.  This is all the more the case when a new member, through the alphabetical rotation of the Council’s presidency, serves in that capacity in the very first month of its term. 


The challenges involved in so quickly assuming this leadership role were recognized by the Council under its earlier arrangements for familiarizing incoming members with the Council’s work.  In the previous version of the comprehensive presidential note on the Council’s working methods (S/2010/507), it was provided that newly-elected members would be invited “to attend all meetings of the Council and its subsidiary bodies and the informal consultations of the whole, for a period of six weeks immediately preceding their term of membership”.  However, special provision was made when “an incoming member will be assuming the presidency of the Council in the first two months of its term”.  In that event, such a Council member would “be invited to attend the informal consultations of the whole for the period of two months immediately preceding its term of membership”.*


For an incoming member to serve as Council President during the first month of its term has occurred surprisingly often since the start of this millennium.  Viet Nam’s predecessors in this regard were Singapore (2001), Argentina (2005), Libya (2008), Jordan (2014), Uruguay (2016), Sweden (2017) and the Dominican Republic (2019). 


Despite the challenges involved, virtually all of these delegations have reported that they received support and understanding from their Security Council colleagues, and benefitted from this early engagement in the inner workings of the Council.


(This update supplements page 111 of the book.)


* This provision has now been rendered obsolete as, pursuant to the newest comprehensive presidential note on working methods (S/2017/507), all incoming members may attend these open and closed meetings for three months prior to the start of their terms.



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