Ukraine calls for overhaul of UN Security Council

Ukraine calls for overhaul of UN Security Council

The UN Security Council needs radical reforms and reorganization in order to prevent the paralysis of its work due to the unfair position of individual permanent members.

Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Serhiy Kyslytsia said this at a meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, December 20, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"The Council is not as effective as hoped and expected by the international community and many people around the globe not because it deliberately ignores some issues or does not work hard enough. On the contrary, the Council's agenda is growing and with every passing year its members spend more and more hours deliberating in this Chamber or in the neighboring consultations room," Kyslytsia said.

At the same time, he pointed to concrete shortcomings that limit the effectiveness of the work of the UN Security Council.

"First, the veto right of permanent members of the Council means that a substantive action is possible only when interests of the Five if not coincide then at least do not cross. In other cases, the Council is left paralyzed. Moreover, a lack of a mechanism to overturn a veto means that there are no incentives for a veto-wielding member to try to work out a solution on a contentious issue," he said. 

Secondly, he said, the scope of implementation of adopted resolutions was always limited by the level of readiness of countries to do so. "This selective approach to implementation does not bode well for the Council's ability to make a real difference in various situations on the ground," Kyslytsia said.

Thirdly, a premise of an effective and efficient Security Council is based on the assumed and expected respect of the UN Charter and norms and principles of international law by all member states, he said. 

In this regard, he recalled Russia's aggression against Georgia in 2008 and against Ukraine, starting in 2014. "Has the Council been able to provide a fitting response? The answer is well known," Kyslytsia said.

He noted that Russia was still occupying Crimea and certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as supplying military and armed forces there.

"The Russian delegation may also claim, as it usually does, that our remarks have no relation to the subject of today's discussion. Our answer is very simple - Russia's actions undermined and continue to undermine the international rule based system and they constitute a direct threat to international peace and security, which is the subject that this Council must be concerned about," Kyslytsia said.

He also expressed the conviction that "without a radical reform and a complete overhaul of the Security Council as it is right now, we can expect only more of the same - long discussions, sometimes even interesting ones, but with a limited impact where a real and concerted action is needed." Not much is needed to change the situation, he said. 

"Merely a responsible attitude of permanent members to dispensing their duties for the good of the world. So far, this aspect of the Council's work is found wanting," he said. 


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