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25 Apr, 2023 13:41

Russia urges expansion of UN Security Council

The West is “over-represented” in the United Nations’ main conflict-solving body, Moscow’s top diplomat has said
Russia urges expansion of UN Security Council

The representation of Asia, Africa and Latin America on the UN Security Council (UNSC) should be expanded so that the key international conflict-solving body can meet modern geopolitical needs, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

“True multilateralism… demands the adaptation of the UN to the objective tendencies of the forming multipolar architecture in international relations,” Lavrov said in a speech at the UN headquarters in New York City on Monday.

This means that the reform of the UNSC has to be “accelerated through the expansion of the representation of Asian, African and Latin American countries in it,” he explained.

“The current massive over-representation of the West in this crucial UN body undermines the principle of multipolarity,” Lavrov pointed out during a discussion on “effective multilateralism” that was organized by Russia as current holder of the council’s rotating presidency.

Lavrov didn’t specify if he was calling for specific nations from Asia, Africa and Latin America to become permanent members of the UNSC, or for quotas for the non-permanent representatives of those regions to be expanded.

The UN Security Council currently consists of five permanent members, each with a power of veto – China, France, Russia, the UK and the US — and ten non-permanent members, elected every two years by the UN General Assembly.

According to current rules, five African and Asian states, one Eastern European state, two Latin American states and two Western European and other states make up the non-permanent members.

With Switzerland and Malta being non-permanent members, the West currently has five seats on the council, more than any other region. Japan, which is a close ally of Washington, is also among the ten current non-permanent members.

During the same discussion, US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield also urged a reform of the UNSC, saying that “this body must evolve to meet the 21st century” in order to “better reflect today’s global realities.”

She didn’t specify what changes are needed, but commented that “our response to Russia’s flagrant violations [of the UN Charter] can’t be to abandon this institution’s founding principles.”

In his address, Lavrov again rebuked Western claims that Russia’s military operation in Ukraine was “illegal,” saying that the UN Charter calls for respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states with governments that represent all of its people.

It’s clear to any unbiased observer, the minister said, that the Kiev authorities, which had come to power a result of “a bloody” coup in 2014 and which mistreated its Russian-speaking population, don’t meet this criteria.