The Security Council Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions (IWG) was established in June 1993 to improve the process by which the Security Council addresses issues concerning its documentation and other procedural questions. The Working Group meets as agreed by members of the Security Council and makes recommendations, proposals and suggestions concerning the Council's documentation and other procedural questions.
The Informal Working Group has drafted a series of documents concerning the working methods of the Security Council, including measures to enhance its efficiency, transparency and interactivity, which have been adopted by the Security Council as Notes by the President. The Note by the President of 30 August 2017 (S/2017/507), drafted under the Chairmanship of Japan, is the most recent comprehensive compilation of these measures, integrating and further developing previous notes drafted by the Group.
The revised note incorporates measures agreed to by the Security Council concerning its working methods and contained in 13 other presidential notes adopted after the issuance of the Note by the President of 26 July 2010 (S/2010/507). Those 13 notes include the contributions of IWG under the Chairmanships of Portugal (2012); Argentina (2013–2014); Angola (2015); and Japan (2016). Following the adoption of the new presidential note 507, the then President of the Security Council (Egypt) read a statement to the press (SC/12976) highlighting the following revisions as contained in the note:
- On the monthly programme of work, incoming presidencies are encouraged to discuss it with other Council members well in advance of their respective presidencies.
- On informal consultations, the note refers to additional measures, such as encouraging briefers to be succinct and direct, making more effective use of “other matters” to raise issues of concern, or encouraging presidencies to suggest elements to the press at the end of consultations.
- On drafting process of outcome documents of the Council, the note refers to co-penholders, encouraging at least one round of discussions with all members of the Council, providing reasonably sufficient time for consideration under silence procedure, and making the documents focused, succinct and action-oriented.
- On dialogue with non-Council members and bodies, the note refers for the first time to the importance of annual joint consultative meetings and informal dialogues with the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, as well as consideration of joint missions of the Security Council and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to conflict situations in Africa.
- On Security Council missions, the note refers to additional elements concerning their value, as well as aspects related to preparation, itinerary, and follow-up.