Russia rejected French proposal to limit veto power of UNSC’s permanent members

Sep 3, 2015 16:00 IST

Russia on 2 September 2015 dismissed a proposal of France asking United Nations Security Council (UNSC) permanent members to limit the use of the veto power at least in cases involving mass atrocities that demands action.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that it would oppose the proposal as it is not a workable proposition. He argued that declaring mass atrocities could become a political tool, and raised questions about who would be empowered to make that determination.

France's idea was welcomed by some 70 non-veto wielding member-states at the United Nations; however, China and the United States have also expressed reservations.

Veto Power and UNSC

Veto power at UNSC relates to the five permanent members also known as the Permanent Five, Big Five, or P5. These are Britain, China, France, Russia and United States.

The Big 5 were accorded with veto power so as to enable them to prevent the adoption of any substantive resolution, as well as decide which issues fall under substantive title. The power is exercised when any permanent member casts a negative vote on a substantive draft resolution.

Abstention or absence from the vote by a permanent member does not prevent a draft resolution from being adopted.

Veto power can be termed as the de-facto control over the UNSC by the five nations, since the creation of UN in 1945. But in recent times calls for re-thinking its use have mounted as the world body celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2015.

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