Statement by the delegation of Ukraine on the draft resolution “Standing mandate for a General Assembly debate when a veto is cast in the Security Council”

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine on the draft resolution “Standing mandate for a General Assembly debate when a veto is cast in the Security Council”

Mr. President,

At the outset, I would like to underline that Ukraine is proud to be among initial co-sponsors of the resolution adopted today.

This resolution is of particular relevance and importance for Ukraine and other Member States who uphold the UN Charter and its principles.

The mechanism adopted today is clear and transparent. It is not politicized or selective. It will be invoked automatically each time when the Security Council is paralyzed by veto.

Permanent members of the UN Security Council have an extraordinary power granted to them under the UN Charter. It is not a privilege but responsibility.

In recent years veto was used while ongoing aggression or atrocity crimes were being committed. Such vetoes prevented condemnation of these crimes, investigation and prosecution, as well as other required measures.

There is no indication in the drafting history of the UN Charter that the veto power was supposed to be used in this way.

Mr. President,

Let me remind that almost every draft UN Security Council resolution on the Russian aggression against Ukraine beginning from 2014 was blocked. It happened due to abuse of veto by the country, which occupies the Soviet seat in the Security Council – the Russian Federation.

The most recent case happened two months ago, when Russia alone vetoed a draft in response to its full-scale military invasion in Ukraine.

Can we consider the use of veto in such cases as demonstration of responsibility? This is rather a rhetoric question.

That is why Ukraine have supported this resolution and continues to support other existing initiatives aimed at limiting the use of veto and strengthening the responsibility for its cast.

Mr. President,

Let me reiterate that permanent members of the Council who are responsibly carrying out their duty of maintaining international peace and security should have no problems with committing themselves to this and other respective initiatives.

Moreover, the UN Charter imposes obligations on the Security Council to act in accordance with the purposes and principles.

Unfortunately, too often in the recent history, the abuse of the veto right undermined the Council’s ability to respond to challenges to the international peace and security, proving to the need to address the current mechanism in order to make it more efficient and credible.

Every veto with respect to crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide is a manifestation of outmost disregard for those who have been killed and injured, as well as those who can be killed. Killed, in particular, because Russia considers the veto as a «green light» for such crimes.

We are also convinced that the use of the veto should be restricted when a permanent member is directly involved in a conflict under consideration of the Council.

Today’s adoption reconfirms that wider UN membership is not going to further tolerate the abuse of veto and seek for strengthening of accountability.

Thank you!