What is the difference between Security Council Presidential Statements and Press Statements?

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There are two types of statements made by the President of the Security Council.

  • Presidential Statements
    • Made on behalf of the Council
    • Delivered or announced in formal meetings
    • Issued as official documents with symbol: S/PRST/-
    • Considered decisions of the Council
    • Reprinted in annual compilation of resolutions and decisions of the Security Council
    • Example: S/PRST/2016/18

Presidential Statement is often created when the United Nations Security Council cannot reach consensus or are prevented from passing a resolution by a permanent member’s veto, or threat thereof. Such statements are similar in content, format, and tone to resolutions, but are not legally binding.[1]

The adoption of a Presidential Statement requires consensus, although Security Council members may abstain. The Statement is signed by the sitting Security Council President.

  • Press Statements
    • Made on behalf of the Council
    • Made to the press outside of the Council chamber
    • Issued as press releases with symbol: SC/-
    • Example: SC/12618

The book “The procedure of the UN Security Council”, by Loraine Sievers and Sam Daws, explains the development of both types of statements.

The Security Council website Documents section has lists for both types of statements.


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 Jun 07, 2021      2029

Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.

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