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Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council

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Commissions and Investigative Bodies

The Security Council has established a wide-variety of Commissions to handle a variety of tasks related to the maintenance of international peace and security. Commissions have been created with different structures and a wide variety of mandates including investigation, mediation, or administering compensation. Below is a list of all commissions established by the Security Council, with a short description prepared on the basis of the Repertoire, as well as links to the sections covering them in the Repertoire. They are organized by region, and then under relevant areas or subregions, placed chronologically starting with those established most recently. For more information on the investigative and fact-finding powers of the Security Council, please see also the section on Article 34.

Africa

Angola

Security Council Commission of Investigation established in pursuance of resolution 571 (1985)

The Commission was established on 20 September 1985 in order to evaluate the damage resulting from the invasion of Angola by South African forces.

Burundi

International Commission of Inquiry established under resolution 1012 (1995) concerning Burundi

The International Commission of Inquiry concerning Burundi was established on 28 August 1995 to establish the facts relating to the assassination of the President of Burundi on 21 October 1993, the massacres and other related serious acts of violence which had followed, and to recommend legal, political or administrative measures to bring to justice persons responsible for those acts and promote reconciliation in Burundi.

Rwanda

International Commission of Inquiry established under resolution 1013 (1995) concerning Rwanda

The International Commission of Inquiry concerning Rwanda was established on 7 September 1995 to investigate reports relating to the sale or supply of arms and related material to former Rwandese Government Forces in the Great Lakes region in violation of Council resolutions, and to recommend measures to end the illegal flow of arms in the region.

Commission of Experts established pursuant to resolution 935 (1994) concerning Rwanda

The Commission of Experts concerning Rwanda was established on 1 July 1994 to examine and analyse information derived from investigations, with a view to providing the Secretary-General with its conclusions on the evidence of grave violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda, including the evidence of possible acts of genocide until its submission of the final report in December 1994.

Seychelles

Commission of Inquiry under resolution 496 (1981) in connection with the Republic of the Seychelles

The Commission was established on 15 December 1981 to investigate the origin, background and financing of the mercenary aggression of 25 November 1981 against the Republic of Seychelles as well as assess and evaluate economic damages. The Commission fulfilled its mandate in July 1983.

Somalia

Ad Hoc Commission of the Security Council established pursuant to resolution 794 (1992) concerning Somalia

The Ad Hoc Commission was established on 3 December 1992 to report to the Security Council on the implementation of resolution 794 (1992) which authorized an enforcement operation by a group of Member States to establish a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations in Somalia.

Commission of Inquiry established pursuant to resolution 885 (1993) concerning Somalia

A Commission of Inquiry concerning Somalia was established on 16 November 1993 to investigate the armed attacks on the personnel of the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II) on 5 June 1993.

Sudan

International Commission of Inquiry for Darfur

The International Commission of Inquiry for Darfur was established on 18 September 2004 to investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Darfur by all parties, to determine whether or not acts of genocide had occurred, and to identify the perpetrators of such violations with a view to ensuring that those responsible were held accountable.

 

Americas

Nicaragua

International Support and Verification Commission

The Commission was established on 6 September 1989 by the United Nations and the Organization of American States to implement the Joint Plan for the voluntary demobilization, repatriation or relocation of the members of the Nicaraguan resistance and their families, as well as assistance for the demobilization of all those involved in armed actions in the countries of the region when such persons voluntarily requested it.

 

Asia

India/Pakistan

United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan

1946-1951

The United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) was established on 20 January 1948 to investigate the facts on the ground regarding the outbreak of hostilities in Jammu and Kashmir and assist in mediatory functions as appropriate. UNCIP was terminated on 17 May 1950.

Indonesia

United Nations Commission for Indonesia

The United Nations Commission for Indonesia (UNCI) was established on 28 January 1949, replacing the Committee of Good Offices on the Indonesian Question in order to perform all the functions mandated to the Committee as well as additional functions. UNCI was responsible for assisting the parties to achieve a just and lasting settlement of the dispute between the Netherlands and Indonesia, which was seeking independence. UNCI ceased functioning on 3 April 1951.  

Consular Commission at Batavia

On 1 September 1947, the Consular Commission was established in Batavia (now Jakarta) tasked with reporting on the situation in the Republic of Indonesia and observing the ceasefire between armed forces of the Netherlands and Indonesia. The Commission ceased to function after 14 March 1951.

Pakistan

Commission of Inquiry into the Benazir Bhutto assassination

By an exchange of letters between the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, on 3 February 2009 the Security Council authorized the Secretary-General to establish an international commission in connection with the assassination on 27 December 2007 of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. The decision was reached following receipt of the request from the Government of Pakistan and after extensive discussions with the Pakistani authorities as well as with members of the Security Council.

Timor-Leste

Commission of Experts to Review the Prosecution of Serious Violations of Human Rights in Timor-Leste (then East Timor) in 1999

The Commission of Experts was established in January 2005 to conduct an assessment on the prosecution of serious crimes committed in East Timor in 1999 and provide recommendations in that regard. Additionally, the Commission of Experts was requested to consider ways in which its analysis could be of assistance to the Truth and Friendship Commission, which Indonesia and Timor-Leste had agreed to establish.

 

Europe

Greece

Commission of Investigation concerning Greek frontier incidents

The Commission of Investigation was established on 19 December 1946 to conduct an investigation in Greece, Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia to discover the causes and nature of alleged border violations. The Commission was terminated on 15 September 1947.

Subsidiary Group of the Commission of Investigation concerning Greek frontier incidents

In view of the fact that the Commission of Investigation concerning Greek Frontier Incidents would leave Greece for Geneva to prepare a report for the Security Council, the Subsidiary Group of the Commission was established on 29 April 1947 in accordance with resolution 23 (1947) of 18 April 1947, tasked to remain in the border area to continue to fulfill the functions the Commission might prescribe. The Subsidiary Group was terminated on 15 September 1947, simultaneously with the termination of its parent body.

Former Yugoslavia

Commission of Experts established pursuant to resolution 780 (1992) to examine reported violations of international humanitarian law in the former Yugoslavia

The Commission was established on 16 November 1992, to examine and analyze evidence relating to grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia.

 

Middle East

Israel/Palestine

Security Council Commission established under resolution 446 (1979) on the situation in the Occupied Arab territories

The Commission was established on 22 March 1979 to examine the situation relating to Israeli settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.

Truce Commission for Palestine

The Truce Commission for Palestine was established on 23 April 1948 to assist the Security Council in supervising the implementation by the parties of resolution 461 (1948) calling for measures to bring about a truce in Palestine. The Truce Commission was never formally terminated, however it ceased to report to the Council after January 1949.

Iraq/Kuwait

United Nations Compensation Commission established pursuant to resolutions 687 (1991) and 692 (1991)

By resolution 687 (1991) of 3 April 1991 and resolution 692 (1991) of 20 May 1991, the Security Council established the United Nations Compensation Commission to administer a Fund to compensate for any direct loss, damage or injury to foreign Governments, nationals and corporations, following the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait.

United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission established pursuant to resolution 687 (1991)

The United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission was established on 2 May 1991 to demarcate in geographic coordinates the international boundary set out in the Agreed Minutes of 4 October 1963. The Commission was also entrusted to make arrangements for the physical representation of the boundary, through the erection of boundary pillars or monuments. On 20 May 1993, the Commission submitted its final report indicating that the Commission had fulfilled its mandate.

United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission established pursuant to paragraph 1 of resolution 1284 (1999)

The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) was established on 17 December 1999 to replace the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) in verifying compliance by Iraq with its disarmament obligations imposed after the Gulf War.

United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) established pursuant to resolution 687 (1991)

The United Nations Special Commission was established on 18 April 1991 to implement the non-nuclear-related provisions of resolution 687 (1991) and conduct inspections on Iraq’s biological and chemical capacities, secure possession of chemical and biological weapons and destroying such weapons as necessary. Additionally, the Special Commission was mandated to assist the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran/Iraq

United Nations inspection teams in Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq under the letter from the Secretary-General dated 14 June 1984 and letter from the President of the Council dated 15 June 1984

Two inspection teams were established on 15 June 1984 to verify compliance with the undertakings given by Iraq and Iran to restrict targeting civilian areas within each others’ territory, and to that end the teams would inspect specific allegations of any violation and report to the Secretary-General, who would keep the Council informed of their findings.

Lebanon

International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC)

By resolution resolution 1595 (2005) of 7 April 2005, the Security Council established the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) to assist the Lebanese authorities in their investigation of all aspects of the assassination of the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafiq Hariri, along with 22 others in Beirut on 14 February 2005, including helping to identify the perpetrators, sponsors, organizers and accomplices.

 

General

Commission for Conventional Armaments

The Commission for Conventional Armaments was established on 13 February 1947 to formulate proposals for carrying out General Assembly resolution 41 (I) of 14 December 1946 concerning the general regulation and reduction of armaments. The Commission was formally dissolved on 30 January 1952.

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