UN resolutions are final decisions of the United Nations , which set down the result of a debate by certain main organs in writing. They contain assessments and demands that relate to interpretations or the wording of the UN Charter .
Different types of resolutions
Depending on the decision-making body, the procedure and the legal value of a resolution differ:
- Resolutions of the UN Security Council are binding under international law;
- Resolutions of the UN General Assembly and other UN organs are political recommendations and as such are not binding under international law.
UN Security Council resolutions
Resolutions of the UN Security Council are binding under international law. They mostly appeal to the goals set out in the UN Charter for achieving and maintaining world peace . They are pronounced against states or parties to a conflict whose actions represent a threat to international security or a violation of international law or human rights. The resolutions usually contain unambiguous demands which, in the event of refusal, can be implemented either with repressive measures (UN embargo , UN sanction or similar) or with armed force. The member states of the United Nations are called upon to participate.
The five permanent members , China , France , Russia , the United Kingdom and the United States must approve or abstain from a draft in order for it to become a resolution. A total of nine of the 15 members of the Security Council must agree. The resolution itself can be blocked by the veto of one of the permanent members, in this case any vote against by one of these states automatically counts as a veto. If a permanent member abstains, this will not be considered a veto in practice. The express veto of a permanent member has been used frequently in recent decades. During the Cold War , the Soviet Union often vetoed developing countries . The US, on the other hand, repeatedly protected Israel with its veto. Often a small change in the wording decides on the valid decision of a resolution.
Resolutions of the UN General Assembly and other UN organs
Resolutions of the UN General Assembly , the UN Economic and Social Council with its various commissions, as well as other organs such as the UN Human Rights Council are not binding under international law. They merely represent a guideline or a recommendation. Examples are resolution 3379 with the title “Elimination of all forms of racial discrimination” and the UN partition plan for Palestine with the title “Resolution 181 (II). Future government of Palestine ".
However, resolutions of the UN General Assembly are binding internally, for example if they concern financial matters of the UN.
The UN General Assembly decides with a simple majority. If a simple majority is in favor, the issue is considered “important” and the decision can only be made with a ⅔ majority. Countries that are in arrears with payments to the UN can be excluded from voting in the General Assembly.
- List of UN resolutions
- UN mission
- UN resolutions (category)
- Total list of resolutions of the UN Security Council (Engl.)
- Complete list of resolutions of the UN General Assembly