Justifying U.N veto Among Permanent Members


    In News 

    • The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution requiring the five permanent members of the Security Council to justify their use of the veto.


    • Though the resolution was planned two years ago, the urgency was felt after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine recently.
    • Liechtenstein is the primary sponsor of the resolution but later on France, Britain and Germany along with 100 more counties too joined as co-sponsors.

    Need for resolution

    • The objective of the resolution is to make the permanent members more accountable while exercising their right to veto a Security Council resolution.
    • Right to veto is the power of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to veto or reject any “substantive” resolution.
    • The Security Council  is the most powerful organ of the United Nations.
    • Five permanent members of the Security Council are:
    • U.S.A
    • Russia
    • China
    • U.K
    • France
    • Resolution stresses on the responsibility of a permanent member to explain its decision to the General Assembly.
    • Proponents of the resolution voiced that the veto has been abused by the veto-holders to further their interests in the international geopolitical arena and also to put their rivals in tight spots.

    Trajectory of Veto

    • So far more than 200 Security Council proposals have been vetoed.
    • Proposals ranging from Korean War, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, climate change, reporting on weapons stockpiles to governance of a part of the Indian Ocean nation Comoros.
    • Soviet Russia (now Russia) has exercised the most vetoes so far, followed by the US.

                                           Veto usage by permanent members

    India’s stand

    • India so far has not been a co-sponsor of the resolution. It has maintained a strategic autonomy so as to not fall in either camp.
    • It’s one of the members of G-4 nations who have potential candidacy for permanent membership at the Security Council.
    • G4 comprises Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan which support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
    • Germany and Japan have joined the resolution as co-sponsors but Brazil and India have refrained.

    Security Council Reforms

    • The Security Council is charged under the UN Charter with ensuring international peace and security. Its permanent members have the right to exercise veto against the Security Council resolution.
    • Reforms of the Security Council have been discussed and debated for more than 40 years now but nothing substantial came out of it.
    • Of late there has been increased demand to revamp the UN’s most powerful organ to reflect current global realities compared to power equations post-World War II when the United Nations was created.
    • Earlier attempts have failed because of permanent members not wanting the dilution of their veto and also because of rivalries between Soviet Russia and U.S led blocks.

    Source: TH