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Ukraine Suggests Reforming UN Security Council, Amending UN Charter

United Nations

The current UN Charter does not reflect the realities of the modern world and was last amended in 1973, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya said, addressing the General Assembly.

He recalled that since its signing in 1945, the UN Charter has been amended five times to reflect changes in the world.

“Surprisingly, the amendment process came to a halt 48 years ago, despite the fact that the world of the 21st century cannot be compared to the world of 1973. The world map has changed dramatically, and artificial formations such as the Soviet Union are a thing of the past. They have disappeared from the world map but are still in the UN Charter,” the diplomat said.

He added that in its current version, the UN Charter does not reflect the present-day world “neither de facto nor de jure.” The UN Secretariat has to use in its materials the wording missing in the text of the Charter, “because the member states have not agreed on changes.”

According to Kyslytsya, the time for change has come, so Ukraine proposes that the reform of the UN Security Council should stipulate the waiver of the permanent member’s veto on resolving conflicts to which it is a party.

“Our country will continue to insist on reviewing the role of the veto in the activity of the Security Council. This is a necessary element to complete the reform of the Security Council. It is completely inappropriate for a permanent member of the Security Council to have the privilege of veto power when it is directly involved as a party to the conflict. Therefore, the Ukrainian delegation strongly supports all initiatives aimed at restricting the use of the veto,” the diplomat said.

He also added that the UN should strengthen the representation of a group of Eastern European countries as now they have one of the smallest representations in the Security Council: one country represents a total of 23.

As a reminder, the UN Security Council is composed of 15 members: five permanent members with veto power (USA, Great Britain, France, China, and Russia) and 10 non-permanent. New non-permanent member seats are allocated annually for five UN regional groupings. Elected members hold their place for a two-year term.

Three seats out of 10 are allocated for African countries; two seats each for Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Eastern European countries get one seat.

Bohdan Marusyak

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