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Your guide to UN and UN documents and reports


The primary responsibility of the Security Council is to maintain world peace and avert threats against international security. Chapter VII, Article 41 of the UN Charter provides measures not involving the use of armed weapons. Such measures usually involve sanctions.

UN Charter, Chapter VII, Article 41

"The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations."

Sanctions and sanctions committees

If a country does not comply with the Security Council resolutions, the council may decide on peace enforcement measures under Chapter VII, Article 41 of the UN Charter to maintain or restore peace and security. It usually involve various forms of sanctions, such as diplomatic, cultural and sporting exchanges, air links and trade. Other countries will be prompted to discontinue its relationship with the country. The council may also use arms embargo to reduce the availability of weapons and thus force a peaceful solution. The council has several sanctions committees involved, to monitor sanctions have effect.

More on UN and sanctions

  • Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council. The Repertoire provides an analysis of the actions related to sanctions taken by the Council and its subsidiaries.


  • The Charter of the United Nations : a commentary Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 by Simma, Bruno; Khan, Daniel-Erasmus; Nolte, Georg; Paulus, Andreas.

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library. UN official documents and open access publications, UN maps, UN voting data and speeches.
  • UN iLibrary. UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS. UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • UNBIS Thesaurus is a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions


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