Brazil Wants Veto Power for UN’s New Security Council Members

The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Celso Amorim, said, December 2, that, between the two proposals presented to the United Nations to reform the Security Council, the one that adds six seats is more consistent with current circumstances and with multilateralism. But he criticized the fact that both versions refuse veto power to the new members.

The first proposal, denominated “hypothesis A,” is the one of greater interest to Brazil, which is a strong contender to obtain one of the six new, permanent seats.


In Amorim’s view, the other proposal, “hypothesis B, will cause more friction and difficulties than A.” “Hypothesis B” calls for the creation of eight new, semi-permanent seats, with new elections every four years.


As for the denial of veto power, the Minister commented that “a distinction will be made, and distinctions are not always good.”


Amorim argued, furthermore, that the veto power of the current permanent members be limited.


“We won’t call for them to renounce their veto power, because they won’t. But it is important to keep prodding them to use it less and less and with a clearer notion of what cannot be vetoed.


“Because the idea of the veto was to prevent UN decisions from having the opposite effect, of leading to a world war. What has happened is that the veto is being used for other purposes,” he commented.


Expansion of the Security Council is one of over 100 proposals included in a report on UN reform submitted earlier this week to UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, by a blue-ribbon panel.


“The conclusions of the panel are a positive step. Their report points to something we have been saying for a long time, that the structure of the Security Council is anachronistic.


“And, as a result, it prevents the Council from dealing with the challenges of this moment in time and, basically, from affirming multilateralism, which is absolutely essential to us,” Amorim affirmed.


Agência Brasil
Translator: David Silberstein

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