Documents relating to agendas
of principal organs
Note. The same document numbers (50, 100, 150 etc.) are used every year, with a different session number. Certain numbers (141 ff, 191 ff, 231 ff) are normally reserved for requests for the inclusion
Preliminary list (A/62/50)
The earliest form of the draft agenda, issued in mid-February. It includes an indication of the legislative authority for the inclusion of each item.
Annotated preliminary list (A/62/100)
Gives a brief history of each item, in particular the action taken at the previous session, together with a list of documents issued at the previous session, and a list of documents expected for the current session. Issued (in theory) on 15 June.
An addendum is prepared later for items included as a result of decisions taken by the General Assembly after the main part of the previous session.
Provisional agenda (A/62/150)
Must be issued 60 days before the opening of the session (rule 12 of the rules of procedure of the General Assembly).
The provisional agenda comprises, in addition to the items on the preliminary list, items requested prior to its issuance by organs or Member States, or which are deemed necessary by the Secretary-General (rule 13 of the rules of procedure).
The request is circulated in the form of a letter, or a note by the Secretary-General, under the heading:
Request for the inclusion of an item in the provisional agenda of the [number] session
followed by the title of the proposed item. These documents bear symbols in a sequential series starting with A/__ /141. See, for example, A/62/144 and A/65/141.
Supplementary list (A/62/200)
After the issuance of the provisional agenda, supplementary items may be requested until 30 days before the opening of the session (rule 14 of the rules of procedure). The list of items so requested is then circulated in the supplementary list. The request is circulated in the form of a letter, or a note by the Secretary-General, under the heading:
Request for the inclusion of a supplementary item in the agenda of the [number] session
followed by the title of the proposed item. These documents bear symbols in a sequential series starting with A/__ /191. See, for example, A/61/191 and A/66/194.
Additional items or sub-items
Additional items may be requested less than 30 days before the opening of the session, or at any time during the session (rule 15 of the rules of procedure). The request is circulated in the form of a letter, or a note by the Secretary-General, under the heading:
Request for the inclusion of an additional item in the agenda of the [number] session
followed by the title of the proposed item. These documents bear symbols in a sequential series starting with A/__ /231. See, for example, A/62/231 and A/62/234.
When an additional sub-item is proposed, the heading corresponds to the title of the new sub-item only; it does not include the title of the main item. See, for example, A/60/237.
Agenda as adopted (A/62/251)
The General Assembly adopts the agenda on the recommendation of the General Committee. The report of the General Committee is circulated under the symbol A/---/250 (see, for example, A/62/250). Addenda are issued to the report of the General Committee and the agenda when additional items are included during the session.
Allocation of items (A/62/252)
The General Assembly adopts the allocation of items to plenary meetings and the Main Committees also on the recommendation of the General Committee. Addenda are issued as required throughout the session.
Form of requests
Each letter requesting an item should contain a reference to the appropriate rule of the rules of procedure of the General Assembly, and be accompanied by an explanatory memorandum; some requests also include a draft resolution. The explanatory memorandum should be headed "Annex" (not "Annex to the letter..."). If a draft resolution is included, the explanatory memorandum will be annex I and the draft resolution will be annex II. Font sizes of headings are indicated in the models (A/62/144, A/61/191 and A/62/234).
An addendum to a request may be issued to add a signatory or signatories (see A/55/141/Add.1).
The Security Council issues a provisional agenda prior to each of its meetings and adopts the agenda at the beginning of the meeting. For example, S/Agenda/5884 contains the provisional agenda for the 5884th meeting. The Security Council does not hold sessions.
New agenda items adopted by the Council are added to the list of matters of which the Council is seized. The complete list is issued annually in the summary statement by the Secretary-General (see S/2008/10). A list of the matters considered by the Council during the 12-month period preceding a session of the General Assembly is set out in the annual notification by the Secretary-General to the Assembly (see A/62/300).
The weekly addenda to the summary statement list the items, including newly adopted items, on which action is taken by the Council throughout the year. As from February 2008, an updated list is included in the first addendum of every month (see, for example, S/2009/10/Add.48).
An item that has not been considered by the Council for three years is deleted from the list unless a Member State requests that it be retained.
Economic and Social Council
The Economic and Social Council holds an organizational session and a substantive session annually. These are referred to as, for example, the organizational session for 2008 and the substantive session of 2008.
There are three basic documents relating to the agenda of the Council’s sessions, for which the same document numbers (1, 2 and 100) are used every year. They are:
The proposed basic programme of work for the current year and the following year (for example, E/2008/1)
The annotated provisional agenda for the organizational session (for example, E/2008/2)
The annotated provisional agenda for the substantive session (for example, E/2007/100)