Holy See Urges Reform of Security Council Veto

Calls for More Transparency and Accountability

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NEW YORK, NOV. 17, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The abolishment of the veto for the UN Security Council isn’t a feasible option, but the use of the veto does need to be curtailed, says the Holy See.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations, said this Friday when addressing the debate on reforming the Security Council before the 64th session of the U.N. General Assembly.

The United Nations is also debating the expansion of the council from 15 member states to 31, but the Holy See focused on the issue of the veto.

«Many valid and clear positions and views have been expressed with regard to the right of veto,» noted Archbishop Migliore. «At this stage of the intergovernmental negotiations, however, the abolishment of the veto seems to be the least feasible. Hence, its reform is more suitable and realistic.»

He noted that on many occasions the use of the veto has «slowed down and even obstructed» action that was needed to secure peace. «Too often it is the failure to intervene that does the real damage,» the Holy See representative noted.

The reform of the veto is all the more necessary at a time when we experience the obvious paradox of a multilateral consensus that continues to be in jeopardy because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a few, whereas the world’s problems call for interventions in the form of collective action by the international community.

«The world’s problems call for interventions in the form of collective action by the international community,» said Archbishop Migliore, adding that the veto consolidates the decision-making power to only a few.

One reform supported by the Holy See is that it should not be used «in situations where genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, serious violations of international humanitarian law or similar acts are involved.»

Archbishop Migliore also called for greater «accountability and transparency in using the right of veto,» as well as «open dialogue and cooperation» in considering resolutions.

«A deeper search for ways of pre-empting and managing conflicts is needed,» he added, «by exploring every possible diplomatic avenue and by giving attention and encouragement to even the faintest sign of dialogue or desire for reconciliation.»

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-27572?l=english

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