United Nations Fun Facts

  The Security Council is one of the main organs of the United Nations. In the United Nations, only the resolutions of the Security Council and the Fifth Committee, which governs dues, are mandatory. The “United Nations Charter” stipulates that in order to ensure rapid and effective UN operations, member states delegate the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security to the Security Council. It is composed of 15 member states of the United Nations (when the United Nations was founded in 1945, the Security Council had only 11 member states, when the United Nations had only 51 member states). China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States are permanent members. The United Nations General Assembly regularly elects 10 other UN member states as non-permanent members for a two-year term; the election takes into account the contribution of member states to the maintenance of international peace and security and the United Nations, and considers the balanced distribution of all continents. Security Council meetings are generally held at the headquarters of the United Nations; they can be held at any time if the President of the Security Council deems it necessary, or at the request of the UN General Assembly, the Secretary-General or any member state.
  During my tenure in 1994, the Security Council held a total of 165 formal meetings. Each formal meeting had to hold a number of informal meetings in advance to consult documents. In preparation for these 165 meetings, the Council held 273 informal consultations. For these 273 informal consultations, the five permanent members held at least 270 consultations between the five permanent members. The Security Council passed a total of 77 resolutions and 82 presidential statements this year.
  Other United Nations councils, committees, various professional meetings, pre-conference meetings, mid-conference meetings, meetings to implement the meeting, plenary meetings, small-scale meetings, meetings open to reporters and experts, closed-door meetings, top secret meetings… …And more. This does not mention banquets, receptions, and tea parties. My personal record is to attend 6 banquets and receptions in one night. As a result, I did not eat at all, and I had to go home to eat instant noodles and participate in the internal work summary of the day. Some will vote after the meeting. In the Security Council, member states usually greet, communicate, and bargain in advance, knowing what votes each party wants to vote.
  The Security Council has a habit that has been formed for many years: the first row of the conference hall must be seated. If the ambassador of the member country is not present, the person sitting in the second row must be substituted to represent the member country in the meeting and vote; if If the first row is vacant, it is considered absent. It is said that this is related to the Korean War. In June 1950, when the Korean War broke out, under the control of the United States, the Security Council convened an emergency meeting and passed a resolution authorizing the formation of a “United Nations Army” of 16 countries. At that time, the Soviet representative was not there and did not veto the above resolution, allowing the United States to take advantage of the loopholes.
  Not long after I arrived at the United Nations, I discovered that in the UN Security Council, ambassadors of various countries are “big names”, they have the air, and they are often late for meetings. In the words of my middle school teacher’s evaluation of some students, it is “free and unrestrained.” The meeting time is up, and some ambassadors are still chatting in the corridor. At this time, the President of the Security Council knocked on the table with a gavel to remind everyone to meet. Once I raised my hand to speak and complained “constructively” that Mr. Chairman knocking the gavel like this was tantamount to punishing those who had already attended the meeting, but it was not fair to those who did not arrive at the meeting. The British ambassador, Lord Dai Wei, joked that, yes, supporting Ambassador Li’s opinions should be played like the gong in Chinese Peking opera so that people outside can hear it. I said, it’s a pity that the gongs of Chinese Peking Opera are too loud. Lord Dai Wei then seriously suggested the installation of an electric bell, and when the chairman pressed it, people in the corridor could also hear it. I agreed, and proposed another “additional clause”: connect the cord of the electric bell to the nearby coffee shop frequented by ambassadors. Therefore, after a vote, the Security Council approved a special “budget” for less than US$400, and set up an electric bell to remind the “meeting”. Everyone called it “Li Bell.” This can be regarded as a little “contribution” that I have made to the UN Security Council on behalf of China. Later, I heard Qin Huasun, Wang Yingfan, Wang Guangya, Zhang Yesui, Li Baodong, and Liu Jie, my successor permanent representatives to the United Nations, that the bell was always there, but it was not very effective.
  On the morning of September 19, 2005, after speaking at the 60th UN General Assembly as Foreign Minister, I rushed to the “Non-Aligned Consultation Room” frequently used by the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations to meet with the foreign ministers of Australia, the Netherlands and South Africa. Each foreign minister will talk for 20 minutes each. When I talked to the Australian Foreign Minister Downer about the 19th minute, a crisp and sweet ring came from the ceiling of the room. Downer looked at his watch and said, “Foreign Minister Li, I know there is still one minute, but you don’t need to move the’Li’s bell’ that you contributed to the Security Council to this hut!” There was a burst of laughter in the conference room.
  At this time, the Dutch foreign minister had already waited for one and a half minutes outside the non-aligned consultation room. When I sent Foreign Minister Downer out of the conference room and greeted the Dutch Foreign Minister, the other party pretended to be serious and said that “Li’s bell” seemed to have no effect on Li himself, and the conversation between the Chinese and Australian foreign ministers ended after a timeout of 1.5 minutes. I hurriedly shook hands with the Dutch Foreign Minister and walked side by side into the non-aligned consultation room. After being seated, the Dutch Foreign Minister was still reluctant: “I have a request. Please China send someone to the Security Council Hall to adjust the’Li’s Bell’ back by one and a half minutes, because both China and the Netherlands insist on fairness and justice internationally. Principles…” The
  President of the Security Council shall be elected by permanent members and non-permanent members according to the first letter of the country’s name (if one letter is the same, then the second letter, and so on), they will serve on a monthly basis for one month. Permanent members are usually represented by their permanent representatives to the United Nations, while non-permanent members, especially some small and medium-sized countries, are sometimes chaired by foreign ministers or foreign ministers for a period of time, presided over one or two important meetings, once or twice. Permanent members of foreign ministers also participate in the Security Council meetings when they encounter major hot issues.
  When I was the President of the Security Council, the Secretariat sent me a secretary to register the number and order of speakers. If you want to speak, you put up the wooden sign of your country on the table to sign up for the secretary.
  There are three necessary remarks in the Council. If it’s an ambassador’s turn to speak, first say, thank you, Mr. Chairman, for giving me the opportunity to speak; then, congratulate (previous speaker) on the wonderful speech of ambassador XX, and then turn to the topic and say your own words; The last sentence is “Thank you Mr. Chairman”-the equivalent of saying “full stop”.
  At one meeting, I called the names in order, please speak. When I asked the Japanese ambassador to speak, the ambassador may be old and too tired, or the content of the meeting may be boring, and he fell asleep shortly after registering to speak. I called again and he was awakened by the assistant behind.
  The veteran ambassador quickly entered the state and started to say sternly, “Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for giving me the opportunity to speak.” Then he said, “Congratulations to Ambassador XX for his wonderful speech…” The whole audience burst into laughter because he congratulated the one he congratulated. The ambassador has not spoken yet.
  The Japanese ambassador immediately realized that he had made a mistake, but he has been on the battlefield and has rich experience in responding to the scene. He slowly explained: “Today’s discussion in the Security Council was not lively and the atmosphere was dull. I deliberately said something wrong to make everyone happy and warm. A little bit.” Everyone laughed again.