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The Assembly President warns that the UN’s “credibility and relevance” are at stake because of Security Council reform

The Assembly President warns that the UN's "credibility and relevance"

  • news by AUN News correspondent
  • Saturday, November 19, 2022
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • According to Csaba Krösi, President of the General Assembly, “interlocking crises” this year—most notably, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February—had highlighted the Security Council’s incapacity to “completely carry out its mandate,” which was the topic of a plenary meeting on Thursday.

  • The authority to veto any resolution can be blocked if even one permanent member—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—decides to exercise its veto authority.

  • Krösi stated, “increasing numbers are now calling for its reform.

  • During High-Level Week, one-third of world leaders—more than twice as many as in 2021—emphasized the urgent need to overhaul the Council.

  • The only UN body with a mandate to look for a resolution to the Security Council reform issue is the General Assembly.

According to Csaba Krösi, President of the General Assembly, “interlocking crises” this year—most notably, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February—had highlighted the Security Council’s incapacity to “completely carry out its mandate,” which was the topic of a plenary meeting on Thursday.

Authority to veto

Any resolution can be blocked if even one permanent member—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—decides to exercise its veto authority. Ten other nations are chosen to the Council on a rotating regional basis for two-year terms.

Nine votes must be cast in favour of a decision adopted in the Council, which operates on the principle of one person, one vote. On all other issues, a majority of nine members is required, “including the concurring votes of the permanent members.”

See our April overview for a breakdown of the Security Council’s authority and capacity to prevent conflict.

Increasing need for change

Mr. Krösi stated, “increasing numbers are now calling for its reform.”

“During High-Level Week, one-third of world leaders—more than twice as many as in 2021—emphasized the urgent need to overhaul the Council. They expect the General Assembly to take the lead in enacting reform.

We must acknowledge that the credibility and applicability of the UN are at stake.

The Assembly needs to decide whether to “swing into action” or go through the motions; he urged the ambassadors.

“You have to pick up this phone right now. The only UN body with a mandate to look for a resolution to the Security Council reform issue is the General Assembly. I rely on the Member States to lead the urgently required reform.

Security Council renews the sanctions regime on Somalia.
UN Image by Mark Garten

The Security Council renews the Somalia-related sanctions.

Group action

The 193-member body,

the Assembly President urged the most representative in the entire UN system to take a “collective step” and support the ongoing intergovernmental discussion process that was started 13 years ago to bring about significant reform.

“The goal is to come up with solutions. Openly and honestly. He assured the audience that he and the co-chairs would offer assistance “in an impartial, objective, and open-minded manner” along a “well-designed procedure.”

He said, “let us persevere,” quoting the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu who defined endurance as a sign of willpower.

Let’s get out from under our fixed places. Let’s move past the calculations of suspicion and competition. Let’s keep the common good in mind.

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