Permanent members must be prepared to explain their use of the Veto should it be exercised, Says US Envoy

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The US is throwing its diplomatic weight behind a UN General Assembly resolution that would mandate the assembly convene after any permanent Security Council member exercises its veto power. If the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, or Russia veto a Security Council resolution, the General Assembly resolution would automatically convene the General Assembly.

The US UN envoy, Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated that the resolution “will be a significant step toward the accountability, transparency, and responsibility of all of the Permanent Members of the Security Council members who wield its power.”

“The United States takes seriously its privilege of veto power; it is a sober and solemn responsibility that must be respected by those Permanent Members to whom it has been entrusted,” she further said.
She insisted that permanent members must be prepared to explain their use of the veto if they do so. She pointed in particular to Russia’s “shameful pattern of abusing its veto privilege over the past two decades.”

She cited Russia’s veto of a UN observer mission in Georgia where Moscow’s forces have occupied two breakaway regions since 2008, vetoes of chemical weapons probes in Syria and Moscow’s prevention of a Security Council investigation into the MH-17 commercial plane downing in eastern Ukraine.

Most recently, Russia vetoed a Security Council resolution that demanded Moscow immediately end its war on Ukraine and evacuate all forces immediately. The February draft text had the support of 11 of the chamber’s 15 member states.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned during the SC address that Russia has turned its veto power “into the right to die.”
“This undermines the whole architecture of global security. It allows them to go unpunished. If this continues, countries will rely only on the power of their own arms to ensure their security, not on international law,” he said to the council.

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