Updated on 8 January 2017
Chapter 8: SUBSIDIARY BODIES
Section 2: Peacebuilding Commission
Appointing two elected Council members to the PBC Organizational Committee for 2017
On 16 December 2016, the Security Council President (Spain) wrote a letter informing the Secretary-General that the Council had agreed on the selection of Senegal and Uruguay as the two elected members of the Council to participate in the Organizational Committee of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in 2017 (S/2016/1075).
On pages 474 to 476, the book recalls that both the General Assembly and the Security Council resolutions establishing the PBC decided that seven seats on the Commission’s Organizational Committee would be accorded to “Seven members of the Security Council, including permanent members, selected according to rules and procedures decided by the Council”. In a second resolution, 1646 (2005), adopted the same day, the Security Council decided that its permanent members shall be members of the Organizational Committee. Resolution 1646 (2005) thus leaves two seats on the Organizational Committee to be accorded to elected members of the Council.
As detailed in the book, the designation by the Security Council of its first two elected members to sit on the Organizational Committee was problematic. The Council decided to select Denmark and Tanzania, in recognition of the fact that those two countries had served as the Co-Chairs of the informal consultations held in the Assembly to negotiate the creation of the PBC. However, the Latin American and Caribbean States Group (GRULAC) did not agree that the two elected Council members serving on the Organizational Committee should be drawn from the two regional groups reflected in the selection of Denmark and Tanzania. In fact, the GRULAC countries on the Security Council set a condition for accepting the appointment of Denmark and Tanzania: They insisted that the Council President’s letter informing the Secretary-General of the selection also state that the Council members had taken note of the position expressed by Argentina, and supported by Peru, that a member of GRULAC should be considered for selection upon the expiration of the terms of Denmark and Tanzania (S/2006/25).
In every succeeding year, the Council has selected an elected Council member from GRULAC to serve on the Organizational Committee, except in 2008. That year, one of the two members selected was Belgium, from the Western European and Other States Group (WEOG). A Council member from the African Group has consistently been selected for the Organizational Committee every year.
The Africa Group and GRULAC are the two UN regional groups which are not represented among the permanent members of the Security Council. The Council’s permanent members belong to the regional groups of Asia-Pacific (China), Eastern Europe (Russian Federation), and WEOG (France, United Kingdom, and United States). Therefore, selecting one elected member from the Africa Group and one from GRULAC for the seats allocated to the Security Council on the PBC Organizational Committee has meant that in every year except 2006 and 2008, all regional groups have been represented among the seven members of the Organizational Committee drawn from the Security Council.
The two elected members selected by the Council to serve on the Organizational Committee since 2006 are as follows:
2006: Denmark and Tanzania
2007: Panama and South Africa
2008: Belgium and South Africa
2009: Burkina Faso and Mexico
2010: Gabon and Mexico
2011: Colombia and Gabon
2012: Colombia and Morocco
2013: Guatemala and Morocco
2014: Argentina and Chad
2015: Chad and Chile
2016: Angola and Venezuela
2017: Senegal and Uruguay
One interesting development in the designation of the two elected Council members to sit on the PBC Organizational Committee in 2017 is that the Council President’s letter informing the Secretary-General was sent on 16 December 2016. Thus, for the first time since the Peacebuilding Commission was established in 2005, the letter by the Council President was issued before the start of the year in which the two elected members would be serving on the Organizational Committee.
An earlier selection process by the Council is advantageous in light of the fact that both the General Assembly and Security Council resolutions establishing the PBC require that in the Assembly’s selection process, “due consideration” be given to “representation from all regional groups in the overall composition of the Committee”. For this reason, the Assembly normally waits for the official results of the selection process in other organs and groups, including the Security Council, to be made known before initiating its own selection process. Thus an earlier announcement by the Council President serves to expedite the designation of the complete composition of the Organizational Committee.
(This update supplements pages 475 to 476 of the book.)