The Procedure of the UN Security Council, 4th Edition is available at Oxford University Press in the UK and USA. 

The Procedure of the UN Security Council, 4th Edition

ISBN: 978-0-19-968529-5

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Updated on 30 October 2016

Chapter 5:   CONDUCT OF MEETINGS AND PARTICIPATION

Section 6:   Motions, proposals, and suggestions

 

“Presidential text” draft resolutions co-sponsored by all 15 Council members

 

In the book, it is explained that “presidential text” is the name given to a draft resolution for which all 15 Council members have agreed to be co-sponsors.  The earliest case of a draft resolution being presented by the President “in his capacity as President of the Council” was resolution 233 (1967) on the Middle East.  Two resolutions were adopted on Cyprus in 1974 as “presidential texts” – 364 (1974) and 365 (1974) – and by the mid-1980s, such texts had become fairly common.

 

The term “presidential text” does not appear on a draft resolution co-sponsored by all 15 Council members when it is published as an official Council document.  Moreover, when a draft resolution which is a “presidential text” is published, normally no names of any co-sponsors are listed, whereas when fewer than all 15 members are co-sponsors, their names are printed on the published draft.  Only in the event that one or more non-Council Member States co-sponsors a “presidential text” are the names of all 15 Council members listed on the draft, together with those of the non-member co-sponsor(s).

 

In the past, very rarely has the Council President voiced the term “presidential text” when bringing a draft resolution to a vote.  This in some ways has been a missed opportunity to indicate publicly the level of unanimity and support achieved by the Council for a particular resolution.  It is therefore noteworthy that on 25 January 2016, when the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2261 (2016) mandating a special political mission in support of the peace process in Colombia, the Council President (Uruguay) introduced the draft resolution by saying:

 

“Members of the Council have before them document S/2016/67, which contains the text of a

draft resolution submitted by all the members of the Security Council.  I thank the members of

the Council for sponsoring the draft resolution, which is now a presidential text.” (S/PV.7609)

 

On 13 September 2016, the Council adopted resolution 2307 (2016) by which it finalized the mandate of the UN mission to be deployed to support implementation by the parties of the Colombian peace agreement.  At that meeting, the Council President (New Zealand) similarly introduced the draft resolution as a "presidential text" sponsored by all 15 Council members (S/PV.7768). 

 

(This update supplements pages 268 to 269 of the book.)