Move to prevent Security Council right to veto in mass atrocities

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Press Encounter with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of France, H.E. Mr. Laurent Fabius and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mexico, H.E Ms. Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas to address reporters. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

More than 70 countries have signed a declaration aimed at restraining the five permanent members of the UN Security Council from using their veto when voting on cases of mass atrocities.

Fifteen countries sit on the Council, which is tasked with maintaining international peace and security.

However, only the five permanent members—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States—have the right to veto any resolutions.

Matthew Wells reports.

The declaration aims to stop the five countries from using their right to veto when genocide, war crimes and crimes of humanity have occurred.

The initiative was led by France and Mexico.

Claudia Ruiz Massieu is the Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister:

"Mexico believes that the veto is a privilege, but it is also a responsibility.  The use of veto in cases of genocide, mass atrocities and crimes against humanity is incompatible with the open societies we strive to build…. Mass atrocities cannot be universally ignored. We all share a responsibility to do whatever we can to help prevent and protect one another from such violence. This cannot happen again."

Ms Ruiz Massieu hopes all five Security Council members will one day support it.

The initiative has also received backing from a civil society coalition that includes Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 57″


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