With the intensification of the Russian offensive in Donbass, the conflict is entering a new phase

The UN will debate a draft resolution aimed at justifying the use of the veto

On Liechtenstein’s initiative, the 193 members of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNO) are debating a draft resolution on Tuesday that calls on the five permanent members of the Security Council to justify their veto.

According to diplomats, the text will soon be the subject of a vote. According to Agence France-Presse, which was able to obtain the document, it provides for a general assembly to be convened “to hold a debate on the situation in which the veto was exercised within ten working days of the objection of one or more permanent members of the Security Council”.

This old idea was revived with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. With its right of veto in this dossier, Moscow is paralyzing any action by the Security Council, which should nonetheless intervene in accordance with its mandate as the guarantor of world peace, as defined in the United Nations Charter.

This Liechtenstein project has the backing of about fifty countries, including the United States, but significantly none of the other four permanent members of the Security Council (Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom). The Security Council also has ten non-permanent members who have no veto power.

Among the fifty or so co-sponsors (who have pledged to vote for the text) are Ukraine, as well as Japan and Germany, two states aspiring to permanent membership in a possible expanded Security Council to better represent the world . The positions of India, Brazil or South Africa, other contenders for a permanent seat, have not been announced at this time. Even if it doesn’t support the text, France will vote in favor of it, according to a diplomat. The elections of London, Beijing and Moscow, which are critical of an initiative considered controversial, are not known.

“We are particularly concerned by Russia’s shameful tendency to abuse its veto power over the past two decades”, stressed the American ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, in a press release. The adoption of the Liechtenstein resolution “will be an important step towards (…) transparency and accountability of all permanent members of the Security Council”She said.

Since it was first vetoed – by the Soviet Union in 1946 – Russia has used it 143 times, well ahead of the United States (86 times), the United Kingdom (30 times), China and France (18 times each). In order to limit recourse to the veto, and after it was last used in 1989, France proposed in 2013 that it be voluntarily revoked if the worst came to the worst “mass crime”. This idea, which is defended by Mexico and supported by a hundred countries, has not yet found a successor.

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