On Tuesday, Liechtenstein will convene the United Nations General Assembly to consider a draft resolution endorsed by the United States that would require the five permanent members of the Security Council to justify their use of the veto.
The current invasion of Ukraine has reignited an old proposal aimed at ensuring permanent members of the Security Council exercise their veto powers less frequently.
Moscow has used its veto power to stifle action in the Security Council, which is intended to intervene in such crises as a guarantor of world peace, as established by the United Nations Charter.
According to diplomats, the Liechtenstein plan has the support of more than 50 countries, including the United States, but none of the other four permanent members of the Security Council — Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom — should be the subject of a future vote.
There are ten non-permanent members of the Security Council who do not have veto power.
The proposal text obtained by AFP calls for a meeting of the 193 members of the General Assembly “within 10 working days of the casting of a veto by one or more permanent members of the Security Council, to hold a debate on the situation as to which the veto was cast to hold a debate on the situation as to which the veto was cast to hold a debate on the situation as to which the veto was cast to hold a debate on the situation as to which the veto
– 295 vetoes since 1946 – Ukraine, Japan, and Germany are among the co-sponsors who have pledged to vote in favor of the text, with the latter two seeking for permanent seats in a possibly expanded Security Council, given their worldwide political and economic clout.
The positions of India, Brazil, or South Africa, as well as other prospective permanent seat aspirants, have yet to be announced.
According to one official, France will vote in support of the document even if it does not sponsor it.
It’s unclear how the United Kingdom, China, and Russia, whose support would be crucial to such a contentious proposal, will vote.
Since 1946, when the Soviet Union first used its veto, Moscow has used it 143 times, considerably more than the United States (86 times), the United Kingdom (30 times), China, or France (18 times each).
In a statement, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, “We are particularly troubled by Russia’s reprehensible practice of misusing its veto right over the past two decades.”
The passage of the Liechtenstein resolution “will be a huge step toward accountability, openness, and responsibility for all” of the Security Council’s permanent members, she noted.
France, which last exercised the veto in 1989, proposed in 2013 that the permanent members limit their use of the veto in the event of a major tragedy collectively and voluntarily.
The initiative, which was co-sponsored by Mexico and endorsed by 100 countries, has so far stagnated.