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Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council

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Pacific Settlements of Disputes (Chapter VI)

This section deals with the practice of the Security Council aimed at promoting and implementing recommendations and methods or procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes within the framework of Articles 33-38 of Chapter VI and Articles 11 and 99 of the Charter of the United Nations. Overall, Chapter VI of the Charter contains various provisions according to which the Security Council may make recommendations to the parties to a dispute or situation.

The Repertoire includes implicit references and explicit references to Chapter VI and Articles 11, 33-38 and 99 in documents of the Security Council, as well as case studies on instances where the provisions of Chapter VI and Articles 11 and 99 were discussed.


A. Article 33 – Obligations of parties to a dispute

Article 33 of the Charter states that any dispute that is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security should first be addressed through negotiation, mediation or other peaceful means, and states that the Council can call on the parties to use such means to settle their dispute. The Repertoire has covered communications from States addressed to the Security Council highlighting prior attempts to resolve situations, discussions relating to the parties responsibilities to resolve their conflicts and other related material. For information relating to Article 33 in recent years, please see section E below.

B. Article 34 - Investigation of disputes and fact-finding

Article 34 of the Charter empowers the Security Council to investigate any dispute, or any situation that is likely to endanger international peace and security. The Repertoire covers investigations and fact-finding missions mandated by the Security Council in the framework of Article 34 of the Charter, also taking into consideration fact-finding missions by the Secretary-General to which the Council expressed its support or of which it took note. Furthermore, this section has also looked at instances in which Member States demanded or suggested to the Council that an investigation be carried out or a fact-finding mission be dispatched.

C. Articles 35, 11 and 99 - Referral of disputes and situations to the Security Council

Article 35 of the Charter grants both Member and non-Member States the power to bring any dispute, or any situation that is likely to endanger international peace and security, to the attention of the Security Council. This section covers instances where disputes or situations have been brought by States have been brought to the attention of the Security Council, according to the provisions of Article 35. After 1989, the section also covers instances where the Secretary-General and the General Assembly have brought new disputes and situations to the attention of the Security Council, in the context of Articles 99 and Article 11 (3) of the Charter, respectively. In addition to providing general information on the procedure and trends in submissions, the section also provides a table of referred disputes and situations by States, the General Assembly and the Secretary-General that includes the States involved and the requested Council action.

D. Articles 36-38 and Chapter VI in general – Recommendations to the parties

Articles 36-38 of the Charter of the United Nations cover the authority and limitations of the Security Council in making recommendations for the peaceful settlement of disputes that may threaten international peace and security or were referred to the Council by the parties. These are generally not considered mandatory measures which fall under Chapter VII of the Charter . This section of the Repertoire covers discussions concerning the competence of the Security Council to consider a dispute or situation and its power to make appropriate recommendations within the framework of Chapter VI of the Charter.

E. Decisions of the Security Council concerning the pacific settlement of disputes

Chapter VI of the Charter contains various provisions (Articles 33 (2), 36 (1), 37 (2) and 38) according to which the Security Council may make recommendations concerning the pacific settlement of disputes. This section of the Repertoireprovides an overview of the use of these provisions. Specifically, it illustrates Security Council recommendations to the parties to a conflict as well as Council decisions requesting the Secretary-General’s good offices in the pacific settlement of disputes (See also Relations with the Secretariat).

 

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