Resolutions, Decisions, Statements: “Highlights of Security Council Practice 2023” offers Snapshot of Significant Developments

Politically Speaking
3 min readJan 12, 2024

Published every year since 2011 by the Security Council Affairs Division (SCAD) of DPPA, the Highlights paper provides an overview of significant procedural and constitutional matters relating to the activities of the Council and its subsidiary bodies over the past year.

I n 2023, the Security Council held 290 formal meetings and 124 consultations of the whole; it adopted 50 resolutions and six presidential statements; it considered 47 agenda items and invited a record number of participants — 479 — under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure. An overview of these activities and other key features of the Council’s work last year is now available in the recently released Highlights of Security Council Practice 2023.

The document contains details on a variety of Council practices, and notes that for the first time in a decade, the Council held private meetings under the agenda items “The situation in the Middle East” and “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”. Eight of the private meetings were held in relation to conflict-specific items (“The situation in Afghanistan”, “The situation in the Middle East”, “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”, “The situation in Myanmar” and “The situation in Somalia”), while the remaining 10 were meetings with troop- and police-contributing countries. The Council also held a private meeting to hear the briefing by the President of the International Court of Justice.

The Highlights report also tallies the number of resolutions and vetoes, noting that in 2023, the Council experienced an increase in the number of failed resolutions due to a veto cast by a permanent member or due to an insufficient number of votes. It was unable to adopt 10 draft resolutions, compared to 7 in 2022. It also failed to agree to adopt four sets of amendments. Most of these draft resolutions and amendments related to the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

It goes on to note that, in 2023, the Council terminated the mandates of one peacekeeping operation, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and one special political mission, the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS). The Council also put an end to the Mali sanctions regime, as well as to the mandate of the Committee and the Panel of Experts.

At the end of 2023, Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates completed their two-year tenure, while Algeria, Guyana, the Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone and Slovenia began their terms as non-permanent members on 1 January 2024, joining the other 10 members in fulfilling the Council’s mandate in maintaining international peace and security.

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SCAD makes available a wealth of data and information concerning the work of the Council on a wide range of issues, including its past and current practice, working methods, sanctions measures and bodies, mandates of existing peacekeeping and special political missions as well as on the programme of work. SCAD also regularly prepares analytical information relating to the Council’s work.

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Politically Speaking

The online magazine of the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs