The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that would require the five permanent members of the Security Council to justify their use of the veto in future.
Highlights of the resolution –
- The resolution was titled – ‘Standing mandate for a General Assembly debate when a veto is cast in the Security Council’.
- The measure provides for the General Assembly to be convened within 10 working days after a veto “to hold a debate on the situation as to which the veto was cast”.
- The assembly is not required to take or consider any action, but the discussion could put veto-wielders on the spot and let other countries be heard.
- The application of this resolution will shed light on the use of the veto and on the blockages within the Security Council.
- The measure is intended to make veto-holders pay a higher political price, when they use the veto to strike down a Security Council resolution
- Possible misuse – It is highly likely that countries could propose controversial texts they know their rivals will veto only to force them to justify their stance publicly. If this happens, the move will divide the UN even further.
- Directed against Russia – Many analysts feel that it is directed against Russia. This is due to the fact that the proposal’s revival came as the Security Council has proven incapable of condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because of Moscow’s veto power.
- Non-binding nature – The text is non-binding and nothing prevents a country that has used its veto from declining to explain its actions to the General Assembly.
- Piecemeal reform – Critics have termed this as a piecemeal reform. UNSC at present requires a reform to address the concerns for developing countries like India and Brazil. There is widespread support for revamping the UN’s most powerful organ to reflect current global realities.