"The world has just come through a year of discord, disease and disruption", the Secretary-General said in his December press conference – a sentiment reflected in the latest figures from the Department of Political Affairs. Last year, the Security Council met 263 times, an increase of 36 per cent over the previous year.
This is just one of the findings in the 2014 Highlights of Security Council Practice report produced by the Security Council Practices and Charter Research Branch in the Security Council Affairs Division of DPA.
March was the busiest month, with 28 meetings (24 public and 4 private) and 19 consultations, according to the report which is now also available online.
The 15-member Council met 167 times in private consultations during 2014. The most discussed topics over the year were Sudan/South Sudan (35 times); Syria (29 times); the situation in the Middle East (17 times); Ukraine (15 times). In addition, developments in the Central African Republic and the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, were each discussed 13 times.
The year’s meetings also included the sixth summit in Security Council history, held in September on the issue of foreign terrorist fighters.
Among other figures noted in the report, the Council considered 49 agenda items, including three new items concerning Ukraine and the situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. During the year, the Council determined three new threats to international peace and security: the situation in Yemen, the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria, and the Ebola outbreak in Africa.
This flurry of discussions led to an increase in activity from the Council, as well. Members adopted 63 resolutions, including the resolution with the largest number of co-sponsors ever (134) on the Ebola virus outbreak, and issued 28 presidential statements. Council Members also went on two missions to Africa and to Europe/Africa.
The report is produced annually by the Security Council Practices and Charter Research Branch. The Branch is also responsible for the drafting of the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council which provides comprehensive coverage of the Security Council’s interpretation and application of the United Nations Charter and its own Provisional Rules of Procedure since 1946.
Download the Highlights of Security Council Practice report at http://www.un.org/en/sc/inc/pages/pdf/highlights/2014.pdf