The UN will debate a decision to limit the veto power of the permanent members of the Security Council
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United Nations (United States) (AFP) – Liechtenstein is due to convene the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday to discuss a draft resolution, backed by Washington, asking the five permanent members of the Security Council to justify their use of the right of veto.
An old idea aimed at forcing the permanent members of the Security Council to reduce the use of their right of veto, it was revived by the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Moscow’s right of veto enabled it to paralyze the action of the Security Council, which was supposed to intervene in these conflicts as a guarantor of world peace, as defined by the United Nations Charter.
Liechtenstein’s proposal, co-sponsored by some 50 countries including the United States but, significantly, none of the other four permanent members of the Security Council – Russia, China, France and Britain – is expected to the subject of a forthcoming vote, according to diplomats.
The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, who do not have veto power.
The text of the proposal, obtained by AFP, provides for a convocation of the 193 members of the General Assembly “within 10 working days following the issuance of a veto by one or more permanent members of the Security Council, to hold a debate on the situation as it was vetoed.
295 vetoes since 1946
Among the co-sponsors who have pledged to vote for the text are Ukraine, Japan and Germany, the latter two hoping for seats as permanent members in a possibly enlarged Security Council given their political influence. and global economy.
The positions of India, Brazil or South Africa, and other contenders for a possible permanent seat have not yet been revealed.
Even if it does not sponsor the text, France will vote for it, according to a diplomat.
How Britain, China and Russia, whose support would be essential for such a controversial initiative, will vote is unclear.
Since the first veto ever used – by the Soviet Union in 1946 – Moscow has deployed it 143 times, far ahead of the United States (86 times), Great Britain (30 times) or China and France (18 times each).
“We are particularly concerned about Russia’s shameful pattern of veto abuse over the past two decades,” US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement.
The adoption of the Liechtenstein resolution “will be an important step towards accountability, transparency and accountability for all” the permanent members of the Security Council, she added.
France, which last used the veto in 1989, proposed in 2013 that permanent members collectively and voluntarily limit their use of the veto in cases of mass atrocities.
Co-sponsored by Mexico and backed by 100 countries, the proposal has so far stalled.
© 2022 AFP