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aggressor country whose leader is accused by the International Court of Justice


On Saturday April 1, the Russian Federation will begin its month-long presidency of the UN Security Council. Many believe that an aggressor country that has illegally attacked its neighbor and killed civilians there for more than a year should not lead such an influential organ of a major international organization.
Being President of the UN Security Council is an honorable and responsible activity. The President manages all Security Council proceedings, reviews proposals for holding new meetings, approves and admits experts to meetings, and coordinates the drafting of resolutions. Russia has been waging a war for a year on the territory of a neighboring state, killing civilians, and the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for its president. The fact that throughout April Russia will determine the order and content of the work of the Security Council is seen by many as a reputational blow to the UN.
“After less than 14 months of aggression, Russia is back in the presidency,” Serhiy Kyslitsa, Ukraine’s permanent representative to the UN, said in an interview with media. – This is first of all a problem which the member countries of the Security Council and, in particular, the permanent members should have tackled, because let us reread the UN Charter, where it is written that the member countries of the UN have entrusted the permanent members with a special role. … The special role lies in the fact that it is these countries that bear the primary responsibility for international peace and security.”
Russia last chaired the Security Council in February last year – and that coincided with the start of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The international socio-political organization “Atlas” proposes to boycott the work of the Security Council in April. This requires that seven of the fifteen members of the Security Council be absent from each meeting chaired by Russia. Then the Security Council will not be able to adopt a single resolution, and the work of this principal organ of the United Nations will be at a standstill.
“We have contacted all the UN missions of the fifteen countries that are now members of the Security Council,” Colomba Caen-Salvador, founder of Atlas, told media. – We ask them to participate in the boycott, to speak about it publicly and to support Ukraine. We haven’t received a response yet, but we hope it will come soon. We are supported by the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN, he reports it on social networks and talks about it publicly. And the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine also speaks of the need for a boycott. From Saturday, we will organize demonstrations and calls for a boycott.
The permanent representative of Ukraine believes that the Security Council should have voted for the next country in the order of rotation, Switzerland, to become president in April.
“I have daily talks with members of the Security Council, with this healthy core of the Security Council,” Sergei Kislitsa said in an interview with media. “They are consulting intensively, but it is already clear that they will not go so far as to disrupt this cycle, this rotating succession to the presidency. Instead, they are discussing other measures they can take in the context of the presidency of the representative of the head of state, now wanted by the International Criminal Court. Let’s not forget that any ambassador is first and foremost a representative of the presiding Head of State. »
Russia is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council and has a right of veto. Therefore, it is difficult for the Security Council to make decisions condemning Russia’s actions – Russia will immediately veto such a decision. Experts are increasingly raising the question that Russia may not even have the right to be in the UN.
“When the USSR collapsed in 1991, all the former republics had to apply for UN membership,” Jeffrey Sonnenberg, associate dean of Yale University School of Management, told media. – Russia has decided that it is above all, that it does not need to worry about it. Belarus and Ukraine should not have done this, because they had members before that, they were behind the creation of the UN in 1945. All the other former republics – Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and others – have applied for admission to the United Nations. But not Russia. In other words, Russia cannot be considered a member of the UN – its membership was never considered and was not ratified.
In turn, Russia claims that it is the legal successor to the USSR in terms of international obligations, including membership in the UN and the Security Council.
Professor Sonnenberg believes that Russia does not have sufficient economic weight to be a permanent member of the Security Council. He cites data that Russia’s contribution to the UN budget is less than 2% – less than half of Italy’s share, and can be compared with the contribution of small countries like Holland. For comparison, the US share of the UN budget is 22%, China’s share is 12%.
We can assume that next month in the Security Council will be tense. Three of the five permanent members, the United States, France and the United Kingdom, as well as most of the non-permanent members, will certainly continue to criticize Russia and its initiatives.
“I suspect that Russia will not be able to pass an important resolution. As we know, other countries also have veto power,” Colomba Caen-Salvador, founder of Atlas, told media. “I think it looks terrible – in the eyes of the UN, in the eyes of the world – when someone accused of war crimes runs the UN. It is a blow for all those who believe in the strength of international institutions and for those who believe that the United Nations still has a role to play in the protection of peace and security.
Colomba Caen-Salvador believes that the reform of the UN is long overdue.
“The UN is undemocratic, non-transparent, it promotes first-class countries that have more power than others, which is completely contrary to the idea of ​​unity and equality in the world,” he said. she said in an interview with media. “This cannot continue. But I don’t know if it can be reformed, mainly because there is no democracy inside this organization. Our organization, Atlas, would like something more democratic so that our voices can be heard.
Russia reportedly has no intention of holding meetings on Ukraine during its presidency of the Security Council.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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