Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations | Bob Rae strongly condemns the right of veto in the UN Security Council

(OTTAWA) Canada on Tuesday joined more than 100 allies around the world in forcing the crippled United Nations Security Council to face greater public scrutiny, while Ukraine’s government lauded a Canadian senator for calling for tougher sanctions law against Moscow.

Posted at 4:47pm

Mike Blanchfield
The Canadian Press

Canada’s UN Ambassador Bob Rae has called the veto power granted to the five permanent members of the Security Council undemocratic as the General Assembly voted on Tuesday to subject the world’s most powerful body to closer scrutiny.

The General Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution that would force one of the council’s five permanent members with veto power – Russia, the United States, China, France and the United Kingdom – to appear before representatives of the 193 countries , to justify his decision to use it.

This resolution does not remove this controversial right of veto in the Security Council. But while Russia threatens to continue using him to prevent any action barring its path in its war in Ukraine, Rae says the historic General Assembly vote underscores the world will be watching the council’s permanent members more closely .

This veto “is as anachronistic as it is undemocratic,” Rae said, declaring Canada’s support for the General Assembly resolution.

Reallocate frozen assets

Meanwhile, the Senate in Ottawa was about to pass tougher legislation that could result in the seizure of billions of dollars in already frozen Russian assets. The Embassy of Ukraine in Canada has urged lawmakers to quickly pass this law in the House of Representatives.

Senator Ratna Omidvar’s bill would allow Russian assets frozen by sanctions to be used to support victims of Russian attacks – a rather unusual measure in the international financial landscape.

“We believe it is entirely fair that Russian state assets or ill-gotten gains of Russian oligarchs are part of the aggressor state’s reparations to the victim of this aggression,” the embassy statement said.

“By passing Bill S-217, Canada will show leadership and could lead by example and show that the corrupt kleptocratic Russian regime will pay the full price for its crimes against Ukraine. »

Russia will have to explain itself

At the United Nations, the unprecedented resolution adopted on Tuesday means that Russia, for example, will have to explain itself to the assembled nations if it decides to veto the Security Council. The resolution stipulates that within 10 working days the General Assembly should “hold a debate on the situation” that has led to a veto in the Council and that the country invoking it will be one of the first to speak.

Representatives from Russia and Belarus opposed the resolution, but their opposition was countered by envoys from dozens of countries that had backed the motion – a group led by little Liechtenstein, which included Canada.

From the assembly hall, Mr Rae strongly condemned the failed United Nations system that allowed Russia’s “shameful and unlawful act of aggression” against Ukraine, as he called it.

The Canadian ambassador said the latest impasse in Ukraine has come at a time when the world needs the Security Council most.

“We are witnessing the destruction of cities. We are witnesses to the murder of women and children. We see the destruction of a country’s entire infrastructure – and we also see a country resisting. The Security Council may not be able to act. It doesn’t deprive us of our ability to act,” said Mr. Rae.

Canada’s ambassadors and world diplomats were chatting in New York as Russian bombs continued to pound the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, which has reduced much of it to rubble in a war that has killed thousands of Ukrainian civilians and forced millions to flee.

“Using the veto and threatening to use it in situations where heinous crimes are being committed, such as in Syria and Burma and in Mariupol, or in situations where a permanent member of the Security Council has launched a war of aggression against another UN member state , as the Russian Federation is currently doing in Ukraine, is not only shameful but also violates obligations under the UN Charter and international law,” Rae said.

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