US co-sponsors resolution on UN Security Council veto

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The United States announced that it would support a resolution mandating the U.N. General Assembly convene after permanent members of the Security Council exercises their veto prerogative.

The General Assembly resolution, spearheaded by Liechtenstein, would automatically convene the General Assembly if the U.S., U.K., France, China or Russia veto a Security Council resolution.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S.’ U.N. envoy, said 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 said in a statement.

She maintained that permanent members must be prepared to explain their use of the veto should they exercise it, pointing in particular to Russia’s “shameful pattern of abusing its veto privilege over the past two decades.”

She cited Russia’s veto of a U.N. 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.

A Dutch-led investigation faulted Russia and its proxy forces in Ukraine for the 2014 downing of the place that killed 298 people.

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

Ukrainian President Volodymy Zelenskyy assailed the Security Council during an April 5 address, saying 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,” he told the Council. “If this continues, countries will rely only on the power of their own arms to ensure their security, not on international law.”


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