Russian blockade of Ukraine | The UN undertakes to justify a veto

(United Nations) The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution calling on the five permanent members of the Security Council to justify their veto power, a rare reform that has been acclaimed and revived by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine became .

Posted at 11:10 am

Philippe RATER
Media Agency France

The measure, initiated by Liechtenstein, targets the United States, China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom, the sole holders of the veto, and aims to “make them pay a higher political price” if they seek recourse, an ambassador said from a country that has none and asks to remain anonymous.

Will the reform encourage the five permanent members to use less of the veto power provided for in the UN Charter? Or will there be an incentive effect to knowingly provoke more against immediately unacceptable texts?

The future will show. Some countries may urge the United States to veto texts referring to Israel. On the other hand, Washington could vote in the Security Council on a draft resolution to tighten sanctions against North Korea that has been under discussion for several weeks, knowing full well that Moscow and Beijing would veto it.

The reform, first pushed ahead two and a half years ago, provides for the convening of the General Assembly “within ten working days after the objection of one or more permanent members of the Security Council to hold a debate on the situation in which the veto was exercised”.

Almost a hundred countries have joined Liechtenstein as co-sponsors of this text, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France and all member states of the European Union.

Russia and China did not join the sponsors of the text. Before the adoption, a Russian diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, complained that it would “split” the UN even more.

Targeting Russia?

The project “is not directed against anyone,” assured the Liechtenstein ambassador Christian Wenaweser. “It’s not aimed at Russia,” he insists, as the vote, after more than two years of fruitless pregnancy, coincides with the Security Council’s paralysis to stop the Russian invasion due to Moscow’s veto power.

For the United States, Russia has been abusing its veto power for two decades, and the adopted text must make it possible to remedy that.

The resolution aims to “promote the role of the United Nations, multilateralism and the voice of all of us who do not have the right of veto and do not sit in the Security Council on matters of international peace and security,” argued Christian Wenaweser.

The text is not binding and there is nothing to prevent a country that has vetoed it from coming to explain it to the General Assembly. Its application, effective immediately, will “clear up” the use of this right and the “blockades” of the Security Council, but argues an ambassador, who asked not to be identified.

In addition to its five permanent members, the Security Council has ten members who are elected for two-year terms without the right of veto.

The resolution’s co-sponsors include Ukraine, Japan and Germany, two countries seeking permanent member status in a possible, years-stalled, expanded Security Council to better represent today’s world. But neither Brazil, which reminded on Tuesday that the veto can be useful to guarantee peace, nor India, other potential candidates for a permanent position on the council, were in the list of co-sponsors obtained by AFP.

Since the very first veto ever (1946 by the Soviet Union on the Syrian and Lebanese Acts), Russia has used it 143 times, well ahead of the United States (86 times), the United Kingdom (30 times), China and France (18 times each) .

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