A Liechtenstein proposal would require the US, France, UK, Russia and China to justify a veto of a UN Security Council action.
The United Nations is preparing to debate a provision that would force the five permanent members of the body’s Security Council – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia – to justify invoking their veto powers.
Security Council reform has been floated for years in the UN, but has regained new strength after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Currently, the five permanent members can veto any resolution tabled by the Security Council. Meanwhile, the other 10 rotating members have no such power.
Moscow has used its veto power to limit UNSC actions since it invaded Ukraine on February 24, immediately blocking a resolution calling on Moscow to withdraw troops from Ukraine.
“We are particularly concerned about Russia’s shameful pattern of abusing its veto privilege 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 a significant step towards accountability, transparency and responsibility for all” the permanent members of the Security Council, he added.
The latest proposal, put forward by Liechtenstein, is co-sponsored by 50 countries, including the US. No other permanent member is currently a co-sponsor, although France has indicated it will support the move, according to the AFP news agency.
The text of the proposal, obtained by AFP, calls on the 193 members of the General Assembly to meet “within 10 working days following the issuance of the veto by one or more permanent members of the Security Council, to debate on the situation with respect to which the veto was made”.
Since the first veto was used, by the Soviet Union in 1946, Moscow has deployed it 143 times, far ahead of the United States (86 times), Britain (30 times), or China and France (18 times each). ).
In early April, the UN General Assembly discontinued Russia of the UN Human Rights Council based in Geneva. At that time, 93 members voted in favor of suspension, 24 voted against, and 58 abstained.
France, which last used the veto in 1989, proposed in 2013 that permanent members collectively and voluntarily limit their use of the veto in the event of a mass atrocity.
Co-sponsored by Mexico and supported by 100 countries, the proposal has so far stalled.