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Pakistan calls out veto powers for failure to secure peace in Gaza, Ukraine

Envoy stresses that there's no point in adding new permanent members to UNSC

By Web Desk
February 20, 2024
Pakistans Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Munir Akram. — APP/File
Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Munir Akram. — APP/File

Munir Akram, Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the UN, has blamed the veto-wielding governments for the UN Security Council's (UNSC) inability to bring about peace in Gaza and Ukraine.

"We are trying to curtail the veto power of the permanent members," Akram said while speaking to Geo News.

Stressing that there are both pros and cons of permanent membership of the UNSC, owing to the veto powers enjoyed by a handful of nations, the envoy opposed the addition of another permanent member to the UN body.

The diplomat added that permanent members have the power to essentially paralyse the Security Council.

Urging for more non-permanent elected seats in the council, the Pakistani envoy said that the UNSC should comprise 27 members with a majority of developing nations.

Five UNSC permanent members have veto power including China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA. These countries have vetoed resolutions hundreds of times with Russia using the power 125 times and the US 82 times.

 US hints using 'veto' ahead of likely UN vote on Gaza

Meanwhile, the UNSC is likely to vote on Tuesday (today) on an Algerian push for the 15-member body to demand an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, said diplomats, a move the United States signalled it would veto.

Algeria put forward an initial draft resolution more than two weeks ago. But US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield quickly said the text could jeopardise "sensitive negotiations" aimed at brokering a pause in the war.

Algeria requested on Saturday that the council vote on Tuesday, diplomats said. To be adopted, UN Security Council resolution needs at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the United States, Britain, France, China or Russia.

"The United States does not support action on this draft resolution. Should it come up for a vote as drafted, it will not be adopted," Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement on Saturday.