The UN website tells us that

Article 30 of the Charter provides that the Security Council shall adopt its own rules of procedure. Since the adoption of the provisional rules of procedure at its first meeting held on 17 January 1946, the Council's rules of procedure have remained provisional.

Why is that? I.e. why have they not been able or willing to adopt non-provisional rules in some 77 years of operation?

1 Answer 1


Part II

Provisional rules of procedure and related procedural developments [2021]

Article 30

The Security Council shall adopt its own rules of procedure, including the method of selecting its President.

During the period under review, the question of the status of the provisional rules of procedure, including in connection with Article 30 of the Charter, was raised at the meeting held on 16 June [2021] under the item entitled “Implementation of the note by the President of the Security Council (S/2017/507)”. In her briefing to the Council, the co-author of the fourth edition of The Procedure of the UN Security Council, Loraine Sievers, noted that, in recent years, the rules had been under the shadow of a misunderstanding because their title still retained the word “provisional”, with the assumption that that meant “draft” and that the rules had therefore never been adopted, but rather existed as loose guidelines that could be set aside by Council members. Ms. Sievers recalled that the provisional rules of procedure had in fact been adopted at the Council’s first meeting, and the retention of the word “provisional” in the title reflected the intention by Council members to revisit the outstanding issue of the extent to which the rules should spell out the voting arrangements set out in Article 27 of the Charter. Although the misunderstanding about the legal status of the rules could be set to rest if the Council were to agree to remove the word “provisional” from the title, attending to the issue of some rules that, over the years, had become outdated would require a thorough and potentially divisive review. It was therefore important to confirm that the rules that governed the conduct of official meetings were valid and could be applied and relied upon as currently written.
[Emboldening added.]

  • Art 27 refers to the P5, so I guess they're trying to avoid a [new] discussion of that. Oct 22, 2023 at 15:54

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