U.S. Supports Proposal to Expand the UN Security Council
On Thursday, during the annual meeting of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, the Security Council meets on war crimes committed by Russian troops in Ukraine.
The meeting comes one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of Russians to participate in the war unleashed against Ukraine, annexed occupied Ukrainian territory and threatened to use nuclear weapons.
UN Secretary General António Guterres and International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan are briefing the 15 members of the body.
At the meeting, Guterres said that talk of a nuclear conflict is “absolutely unacceptable” and that any annexation of one state’s territory by another state through the threat or use of force is a violation of the UN Charter and international law.
Guterres and Khan will be followed by 15 Council members, followed by Ukraine, several European countries, Belarus and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Thursday that he would “keep a safe social distance” from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the UN Security Council.
Secretary Blinken said Wednesday, ahead of the meeting, that “President Putin’s call to partially mobilize Russian citizens and send them to the war in Ukraine reflects the Kremlin’s difficulties on the battlefield, the unpopularity of the war and the Russians’ reluctance to participate in it.”
“President Putin is not acting from a position of strength; rather, this is another sign of the failure of his mission,” Blinken stated in a statement published on the State Department website.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said Wednesday that “a crime has been committed against Ukraine, and we demand fair punishment.”
Ukraine’s chief war crimes prosecutor told Reuters last month that his office was investigating nearly 26,000 alleged war crimes committed after Russia invaded and had indicted 135 people.
Recall that the U.N. Security Council has never been able to take any meaningful action on Ukraine because Russia is a permanent veto-wielding member, along with the United States, France, Britain and China. Thursday’s meeting will be at least the 20th Security Council meeting on Ukraine this year.
President Joe Biden said during a Sept. 21 speech at the U.N. General Assembly that he supports expanding the Security Council.
“The time has come for the UN to become a more inclusive organization that responds more effectively to the needs of today’s world. The U.S. supports expanding the UN Security Council, including the permanent members,” Biden said.
A day earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke at the General Assembly with a similar initiative, complete with restrictions on the veto power of individual UN Security Council members.
“The UN Charter, the very foundation of the UN Charter based on the rules of order, is under attack by those who want to destroy or distort it for political gain,” Biden stressed. – The UN Charter was not only signed by the democracies of the world, it was negotiated by citizens of dozens of countries with radically different histories and ideologies, united in their commitment to work for peace.
The president supported the proposal to increase the number of permanent and non-permanent representatives on the Security Council, referring to the permanent membership of those states that the U.S. supports, as well as those in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.