According to Nicolas de Rivière, the war in Ukraine could be a “game changer” for the UN Security Council

According to Nicolas de Rivière, the war in Ukraine could be a “game changer” for the UN Security Council

Russia’s war in Ukraine could “Change of Contract” for the UN Security Council, French Permanent Representative to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Nicolas de Rivière, told EURACTIV.

“The UN is likely at a crossroads and Ukraine could be a tipping point”said Mr de Rivière on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, calling the war waged by Russia a“A heavy blow to multilateralism and a massive violation of the UN Charter”.

“We will continue to urge that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine be respected and that this war be ended as soon as possible.”, said Mr de Rivière. France currently holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council, which consists of 15 countries, until September.

The Security Council meeting on Thursday (September 22) is expected to focus on new developments in the war in Ukraine and discussions will focus on how to respond to Russia’s threats and a campaign to mobilize 300,000 reservists.

As the members will be represented this time by their foreign ministers and not their permanent representatives, this will be the first face-to-face meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ukrainian Dmytro Kuleba, who will attend the session because of his country is the subject of discussion.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell is also expected to address the participants on behalf of the 27 EU member states.

When asked if he expected significant progress, Mr de Rivière replied that he was hoping for progress “on all aspects of this crisis”but admitted it was unlikely to happen any time soon.

“What we can do is keep mobilizing everyone for food security, keep mobilizing everyone for humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine, keep mobilizing all the key players for nuclear safety.”he added.

Furthermore, when asked if a major meeting with the Russian delegation led by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was planned, Mr de Rivière replied that no meeting was planned.

“Russia is not doing well militarily, the Ukrainian army is making progress”added the French representative.

Regarding the longer-term perspective of the war, Mr. de Rivière replied“It is probably time to review the situation and try to move this conflict to another phase”.

“But I’m afraid it’s probably a bit early for that.”

President Emmanuel Macron told French broadcaster BFM TV on Thursday that the goal remains a negotiated peace in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

EU prepares new sanctions against Russia

A new round of sanctions against Russia is to be prepared after an emergency overnight meeting of EU foreign ministers in New York on Wednesday following Moscow’s recent escalation in the war against Ukraine. A EURACTIV report from New York.

regulate the right of veto

In a scathing speech on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged UN members to lift Russia’s veto in the Security Council.

This body is the only one within the United Nations system that has the power to initiate military action, impose sanctions, enact binding resolutions and deploy peacekeeping operations.

However, this requires the unanimous support of the five permanent members, also known as “P5”, or at least the abstention of some.

France, together with Mexico, has been pushing for years to regulate the right of veto within the security body in view of the mass atrocities committed worldwide.

“What we have asked for is that the P5 informally and non-bindingly commit not to use their veto right in such cases.”said M. de Rivière.

“It’s a very informal code of conduct – no amendment or revision of the UN Charter, not mandatory”he added.

“Politically, this is very important because we want to make sure we avoid abusing the veto to protect war criminals.”he added.

Asked if, given the current circumstances of the war in Ukraine with Russia as one of the culprits, he believed this would ever be possible, Mr de Rivière admitted: ” It’s tough “.

deep divisions

Long before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, there were deep divisions among the permanent members of the Security Council – Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and China.

Tensions between the most powerful countries have hampered this body’s ability to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, from human rights abuses to climate change.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons in response to casualties on Ukraine’s battlefields added to the sense of urgency ahead of Thursday’s UNSC meeting.

In March, China and India, the latter of the 10 non-permanent members, were the only two countries to abstain from voting on a Security Council resolution calling for an immediate end to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

China’s position on this war has remained somewhat ambiguous, although it continues to work diplomatically with Russia. For its part, India voted for Mr Zelensky to speak virtually at the gathering, while China abstained.

Possible reform?

At the same time, comprehensive reform would require the approval of at least two-thirds of UN member states in a vote in the General Assembly and ratification by two-thirds of member states with the consent of all permanent members.

“The strength of the UN is the notion of universality with 193 members, but this universality is also its great weakness, because it is very slow, very difficult to negotiate, very frustrating and always compromises on the basis of the lowest common denominator “said M. de Rivière.

US President Joe Biden condemned the conflict in Ukraine before the General Assembly on Wednesday “Russia has shamelessly violated the fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations”.

“A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council has invaded its neighbor in an attempt to erase a sovereign state from the map”said Mr. Biden.

He again called for an expansion of the body and stressed that the number of permanent and non-permanent members should be increased.

Some delegates in New York this week reiterated their support for the United Nations Security Council’s reform plan, but admitted any change would take years.

Changes desired by the United States include greater representation of countries and countries considered allies located in the so-called southern regions, including Latin America, Africa and South Asia.

Reference: www.euractiv.fr

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