Veto power in the spotlight at UN Security Council meeting

United Nations, Sep 5 (EFE).- The veto power of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council was the focus of Tuesday’s annual meeting convened by Albania, which holds the rotating presidency.

During the meeting, open to all UN member countries, most representatives agreed on the need to reform the Security Council, which has operated under provisional rules of procedure since 1946.

Many criticized the right of the permanent members (United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, and France) to veto resolutions and decisions.

“The right of veto has no place in a Security Council of this century,” said the permanent representative of the Philippines to the UN, Antonio Lagdameo.

While stopping short of directly criticizing the right of veto, France called for its responsible use. It recalled its proposal, along with Mexico, to limit its use when dealing with issues related to mass atrocities.

UK representative Barbara Woodward was more direct. “Russia has increasingly used this Council as a platform for propaganda and disinformation,” she denounced, adding that its actions jeopardize the legitimacy of the body.

The US representative expressed a similar view, citing the recent Russian veto of a Security Council resolution to extend the sanctions regime on Mali that had a broad consensus (thirteen countries voted in favor).

For his part, the Russian representative criticized some countries’ partisan use of the Security Council and said that some UN peacekeeping missions receive “vague” orders from the Council, with “inappropriate functions that they cannot implement.”

“Thanks to their deliberate pressures, the Council’s agenda is getting longer and longer with domestic political issues, human rights issues, climate, and other issues,” said Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasili Nebenzia, who traditionally calls for restricting the Council’s tasks to peace and security issues.

Nebenzia also gave a nod to West African countries, which called for broader representation in the body’s affairs, advocating for countries that are temporary members of the Council to have a greater voice in the body.

China also joined this initiative and defended the use of the right of veto since “many members of the Security Council belong to the same political group” – alluding to Western countries – which creates an ideological imbalance in the body and often results in hasty votes.

All of today’s interventions are the embodiment of an increasingly evident state of affairs: in the face of the various conflicts around the world, the Western countries usually have common and anti-Russian positions, while China chooses to abstain in the votes, although the interventions of Chinese diplomats always show great understanding towards the Russian theses. EFE


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