Lithuanian foreign minister: Veto right is responsibility, not privilege

Linas Linkevičius
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

“Permanent member states at the Security Council were granted the right to veto, which is not a privilege, but a great responsibility, as well as an exceptional tool for peace and for defending the UN Charter’s basic principles. Joining the declaration on the restraint of the use of the right to veto is a test given to the permanent members of the Security Council of their wisdom and courage,” said Linkevičius.

At a high-level event, which was co-hosted by Germany and Jordan on 29 September, and dedicated to discussing the United Nations Security Council’s role in the field of human rights, the head of Lithuania’s diplomacy also said that “the Security Council cannot function effectively because its permanent members misuse their right to veto.”

The minister called on the permanent members of the Security Council to restrain their right to veto in situations of mass atrocity and highlighted that the Security Council had not prevented massacre in Syria and demonstrated indifference to victims of the Srebrenica genocide.

The meeting was attended by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, High Commissioner for Human Rights, who pointed out that abuse of human rights often led to conflict, so the Security Council should have an exceptional role in preventing crimes against humanity.

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