UN General Assembly adopts landmark accountability resolution
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UN General Assembly adopts landmark accountability resolution

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution Tuesday which requires the General Assembly to meet every time a veto is used by the Security Council. The resolution has been praised by multiple officials as a great step forward for accountability within the UN.

The resolution, still in its drafting stage, was first introduced by Ambassador Christian Wenaweser from Liechtenstein. In a speech given Tuesday introducing the resolution, Wenaweser outlined the function of the resolution by stating “The draft resolution before this Assembly today creates a standing mandate for the Assembly to be convened automatically, within ten working days, every time a veto has been cast in the Security Council.”

Later in his speech, Wenaweser cited concerns over the proper use of the veto power as the motivations behind the resolution, stating “Liechtenstein started work on this initiative together with a core group of States over two years ago, out of a growing concern that the Security Council has found it increasingly difficult to carry out its work in accordance with its mandate under the UN charter.”

The resolution has been praised by numerous international diplomats, including from Russia and the United States. In a press conference on Tuesday, Russian foreign secretary Sergey Lavrov cited the continued need for cooperation within the UN and stressed the importance of assuring that each of the member states was seen as equal.

Meanwhile, Richard Mills, ambassador to the UN from the United States made a statement that highlighted similar points. In regards to the power of the veto, Mills stated:

Such authority comes with enormous responsibility – and it must be used wisely, judiciously, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations and with full consideration of the advancement of international peace and security. At the very least, when a P5 [Security Council] Member casts a veto, that member should be prepared to explain why the resolution at issue would not have furthered the maintenance of international peace and security.

The resolution was supported by a sweeping majority of the General Assembly and is set to take effect immediately.