Editorial Note

The “Provisional List of Categories of Security Council Decisions “was used by the United Nations Secretariat in preparing a list of possible decisions by the Security Council. This list was used in turn, along with two other papers prepared by the Secretariat, by a Sub-Committee of the Interim Committee (Sub-Committee 3), which the Interim Committee established at its meeting on March 15. This Sub-Committee was instructed to study the problem of voting in the Security Council, along with all proposals submitted to it on the subject, and to prepare a paper to form the basis for recommendations by the Interim Committee for eventual submission to the General Assembly.

After delays attendant upon the sitting of the Special Session of the General Assembly which met in April and May on the Palestine problem, the Sub-Committee, proceeding through a “working group”, undertook to establish and analyze 98 possible decisions “adopted or which might be adopted by the Security Council in application of the Charter or the Statute of the International Court of Justice.” “The Sub-Committee, in its study of this list, sought to determine those decisions, which its members considered as procedural within the meaning [Page 232] of Article 27, paragraph 2, of the Charter, and those decisions which, whether considered procedural or non-procedural by the various members of the Sub-Committee, should in the opinion of the Sub-Committee, be taken by a vote of any seven members of the Security Council.” (United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Third Session, Part I, Supplement No. 10, Reports of the Interim Committee of the General Assembly (5 January to 5 August 1948) [in which is printed United Nations document A/578, 5 July 1948, “The Problem of Voting in the Security Council”], page 1; hereafter cited as GA (III/1), Suppl. No. 10).

The conclusions of the Sub-Committee were submitted to the Interim Committee in a preliminary report on June 3. In a second report on June 24 the Sub-Committee examined proposals which had been advanced as to methods for giving effect to the conclusions set forth in the preliminary report. (See GA(III/1) Suppl. No. 10, pages 1 ff.)

Throughout the Sub-Committee phase there was consultation between the United States and the other permanent members of the Security Council, except the Soviet Union which did not recognize the Interim Committee.