Security Council Proceduralism

53 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2009

See all articles by Daniel Benoliel

Daniel Benoliel

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February, 11 2009


This paper focuses on the Security Council voting procedures, while analyzing the interplay between formal and informal decisions herein. Based on an empirical study, it serves to downplay the prevalence of asymmetries in international relations. It stands may connotes the real politique of the Security Council procedural rules to explain why is the single polar international community has kept its balanced bearing herein.

Among the range of questions arising from the procedural rules of the Security Council, those concerning the rules of voting procedure are commonly regarded as of central legal importance. In principle, votes are taken publicly and openly. The voting procedures in the Council are the outcome of the diverse decision-making practices applied there. The two principal processes are the "resolution", and the less familiar "presidential statement". The traditional manner of passing a resolution is through a Council vote. However, a presidential statement, which is generally read publicly before the members of the Council, does not require a vote but merely the existence of an unofficial consensus, and the prior agreement of all the members of the Council to every word contained in the text. Another framework which can lead to a vote, albeit this occurs rarely, is a "statement to the press". Generally, this is issued at the instruction of the President of the Council who possesses the mandate to represent the Council, following general and informal consultation with members of the Council. This paper challenges the hypothesis according to which in the single polar world of the post-Cold War, there has been a demise of the formal mechanisms on the expense of informal ones, followed a period of U.S. hegemony.

Suggested Citation

Benoliel, Daniel, Security Council Proceduralism (February, 11 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Daniel Benoliel (Contact Author)

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905

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