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Newsline: UN Security Council’s inaction on Ukraine prompts questions on reform

The United Nations Security Council’s lack of action to intervene in the war in Ukraine, with more than one resolution being vetoed by Russia, has resurfaced criticism of the body. The Ukrainian government has heavily criticized the body for not taking action to stop the war, with strong criticism coming from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who, in an address to its Security Council, challenged the body to act or “dissolve” itself. The U.N. General Assembly passed resolutions condemning the war in Ukraine, including a resolution to remove Russia from the Human Rights Council, exposing what little support Russia has for its war. (https://www.yahoo.com/gma/un-security-councils-inaction-ukraine-081900315.html) Historically, when the Council has been unable to take action, the U.N. General Assembly has intervened. The Security Council, a body consisting of 15 members, five of which are permanent with veto power dubbed the P-5, is responsible for peace and security. The remaining 10 non-permanent seats rotate by election of other U.N. members for two year periods. The permanent members are China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. Removing a member from the Security Council or the General Assembly requires a recommendation from the Security Council. Because Russia is one of the P-5 and has veto power, it can block any resolution from being passed, keeping its seat safe. It would be impossible to remove Russia from the council unless it agrees to its own expulsion or suspension. However, analysts argue that the creation of a new UN-like international body without any veto powers so as to replace the current one could be an option eventually.

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