Nthe annual debate on the Security Council’s working methods, the permanent representative of Portugal to the UN, Ana Paula Zacarias, stated that the only way to improve the functioning and legitimacy of the Council “is through measures that are feasible under current rules”.
“A more transparent and accountable Council would benefit from greater stakeholder confidence and therefore be in a better position to fulfill its mandate”, said the diplomat.
The veto power held by the five permanent members of the Security Council – Russia, China, the United States, France and the United Kingdom – was the center of the meeting in which the methods and procedures of the body, which has operated under provisional internal regulations since 1946, were discussed. .
Ana Paula Zacarias joined the voices that defended greater accountability for the use of the veto.
The ambassador also defended the importance of including in the Council’s annual report more details on the resolutions that the body does not adopt, as well as an analysis of the use of the veto.
Finally, Ana Paula Zacarias appealed to the Security Council “to maintain the good practice of making statements to the press after meetings behind closed doors”.
Under discussion for about 40 years, but always without success due to lack of consensus, the reform and expansion of the Security Council – often considered obsolete – have already been requested for several years, with emerging countries such as India, South Africa and Brazil intending to join the five permanent members.
In general, almost all UN countries consider it necessary to reform the Security Council, but there is no agreement on how to do it, with different proposals on the table for years.
Over the years, veto power – held exclusively by the five permanent members – has been one of the most controversial issues and the target of several requests for modification. This has, in fact, been the mechanism used by Russia to prevent the Security Council from acting against it in the face of the War in Ukraine.
Since 1946, the veto has been used around 300 times, about half of them by the Soviet Union or Russia, which inherited the seat.
“The right of veto has no place in a 21st century Security Council,” the Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN said today.
“The veto does not promote unity,” stated the Mexican representative. Germany, Cuba, and Italy, among other countries, took a similar position.
France, while not directly criticizing the veto power, called for it to be used responsibly and recalled its proposal with Mexico for its use to be limited when it comes to matters relating to mass atrocities.
The way in which Russia has used its veto power and the Security Council itself has been criticized by countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Washington gave as an example the recent Russian veto of a resolution to extend the regime of sanctions against Mali, which had reached a broad consensus (13 countries voted in favor).
The Russian ambassador, for his part, criticized the partisan use of the Security Council by some countries.
“Thanks to deliberate pressure, the Council’s agenda is becoming increasingly long with internal political issues, human rights, climate issues, among others,” said Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, who traditionally appeals to the restricting the Council’s tasks to matters of peace and security.
China, on the other hand, defended the use of veto power, since “many members of the Security Council belong to the same political group” – in reference to Western countries -, which creates an ideological imbalance in the body and, many times, results in snap votes, argued Beijing.
Today’s meeting once again highlighted that Western countries tend to have common positions against Russia, while China seeks neutrality, although the interventions of Chinese diplomats always show a great understanding of Russian theses.
[Notícia atualizada às 21h51]
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