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US opposes expansion of veto power, supports modest reform of UNSC: officia

US opposes expansion of veto power, supports modest reform of UNSC: officia
November 22
11:29 2017

WASHINGTON: The US is opposed to any alteration or expansion of the veto power enjoyed by the permanent members of the UN Security Council, but supports a modest expansion of the 15-member apex wing of the world body, a top official has said.

The State Department spokesperson said a reformed council must reflect the realities of the 21st century and be able to meet the challenges of this century.

The US remains open in principle to the idea of UN Security Council reform, including a modest expansion of the Security Council, the official said.

“We believe a reformed council must reflect the realities of the 21st century and be able to meet the challenges of this century with enhanced – and not diminished – effectiveness and efficiency,” the spokesperson told PTI yesterday.

The official added that the US remained opposed to any alteration or expansion of the veto power enjoyed by the permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The spokesperson was asked about reform of the UNSC in view of the differences that emerged between the General Assembly and the Security Council during the just concluded election to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

India’s Dalveer Bhandari was overwhelmingly backed by the UN members for his re-elected to the ICJ yesterday. 70- year-old Bhandari received 183 of the 193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all 15 votes in the Security Council to fill the final vacancy on the Hague-based ICJ.

In the fourth round, Bhandari had received a majority – 115 votes – in the General Assembly, while Greenwood received 76 votes. However, in the Security Council Greenwood got majority (nine) of the votes as against six votes by Bhandari, resulting in another round of votes scheduled for yesterday.

India has repeatedly called for UNSC reforms.

Last year, while addressing the 71st UN General Assembly (UNGA) session, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said there was a need for a reformed Security Council that continues to reflect the world order of an earlier era.

“The vast majority of nations share the belief that the UN should not remain frozen in 1945, just to serve the interests of a few. Whether it is institutions or issues, we must come to terms with present day realities and the challenges that confront us,” she had said.

Swaraj had added that an expansion in the Permanent and non-Permanent membership of the Council to reflect contemporary realities was an urgent necessity.-PTI

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