Global Policy Forum

Russia Vetoes the Abolition of the Veto

Unofficial translation
March 24, 1999

Statement by a Representative of the Russian Federation in the Open-Ended Working Group on Security Council Reform on Veto Issue

The Russian delegation has on many occasions extensively outlined its position on the issue of [the] veto. Discussion on this question, as well as on all aspects of this Working Group's mandate should proceed with a view to preserving and enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Security Council which has under the Charter the primary responsibility for maintenance of international peace and security. It is in accomplishing this task that we perceive the main goal of the process of the enlargement of the Council and improvement of its working methods.

Broad experience gained through the Council's activity convincingly attests to the fact that the Charter provisions governing the scope and application of the veto are crucial to its ability to function effectively and to arrive at balanced and sustainable decisions. Moreover, these Charter provisions facilitate the subsequent implementation of such decisions.

That is why Russia continues to firmly oppose any restriction or curtailment of the veto, be it through amendment to the Charter or otherwise. This position coincides with the approach of other permanent members of the Council and presents an objective reality which needs to be duly taken into account, whether someone likes it or not.

Fully recognising its responsibilities under the Charter as a permanent member of the Council, Russia will continue to make every effort to achieve consensus in the Council's decision-making process. This is our principal position that we consistently hold on to. As to granting the right of veto to possible new permanent members of the Security Council we still maintain our view that the issue should be given a substantial consideration after the «personal» composition of an enlarged Council shall be agreed upon.

I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to reaffirm our support for the moves to really improve the Council's working methods, including reasonable enhancement of its transparency. We view this endeavour as an integral part of the package which represents the mandate of the Working Group.

Indeed, much has been done by the Security Council in this respect in the recent years and it continues to be done so. We remain keen to continue a constructive work within the Council and the Working Group, being mindful that any proposal to alter the Security Council's working methods and its procedures should be invariably calibrated against the same pivotal criterion of preserving and enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Council.

More Documents on Reform of the Security Council
More Statements on the Veto


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