Tag: <span>UN Security Council</span>

UN Security Council Appeals

UN Security Council Reforms: Necessary But Difficult.

    Ambassador Pedro Comissario of Mozambique who is chairing the UN Security Council for this month of May said:

“The veto should never have been allowed in cases of flagrant violations of international humanitarian law as we are witnessing in Gaza at the moment.” 

Some 35,000 persons have been killed in the Gaza Strip since 8 October 2023.

Many bodies are still under the ruined buildings and are not yet counted.  The United States has vetoed four resolutions concerning Gaza, despite the fact that many governments are calling for a lasting ceasefire, for the freeing of hostages held by the Palestinians, for the release of political prisoners held by the Israelis and for increased humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip.

HE Mr Pedro Comissário Afonso, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Mozambique, presents his credentials to Dr Lassina Zerbo, Director of the International Data Centre and Executive Secretary-elect of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, on 1 July 2013. By The Official CTBTO Photostream, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

UN membership for Palestine.

    Under a new UN procedure voted late in 2023, when there is a veto in the Security Council, the subject is moved to the General Assembly for consideration.  The State having cast the veto must explain its position and its justification for the veto.  Thus on 10 May 2024, the General Assembly will discuss the US veto of 18 April concerning UN membership for Palestine, a debate worth following closely as it is closely related to current events in the Gaza Strip.

    Since the start of the United Nations in 1945, a total of 312 vetos have been cast in the Security Council: 152 by the Soviet Union and its reincarnation as the Russian Federation.  91 vetos have been cast by the USA.

Two Major issues in the on-again, off-again discussions concerning reform of the UN Security Council.

 One issue has been the veto power of the five permanent members. The other issue has been the make up of the Security Council: should there be additional permanent members, if so should they have the veto?  In addition to the discussion of new permanent members, should there be more than the current 15 States?  There has been no agreement of these issues. In practice, more issues are moved to the General Assembly, but finding adequate solutions to crucial issues is difficult also in the General Assembly.

    The review and reform of UN structures has often been advocated.

However, a Charter Review Conference on the UN agenda for 1955 was pushed under the rug by an agreement of the USA and the USSR both of which did not want their policies in the UN discussed.  Such a review would be helpful but difficult to create.

   Professor René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.