‘Absurdity to a new level’ as Russia takes charge of UN Security Council


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In Ukraine, Moscow continues its unilateral war of aggression. In The Hague, Vladimir Putin faces an arrest warrant for war crimes. But at the United Nations, Russia is trying to take over the powerful international body, the Security Council.

Starting Saturday, it will be Russia’s turn to chair the 15-member council monthly, in line with the Ukrainian war-unaffected rotation.

The last time Russia picked up the gavel was in February last year, when President Putin declared his “special military operation” During a council meeting on Ukraine. 14 months later, tens of thousands of people were killed, many of them civilians, cities destroyed, Putin was indicted By the International Criminal Court against the mass abduction of Ukrainian children.

In this context, putting Russia in the driver’s seat of an international organization tasked with “maintaining international peace and security” is a cruel April Fool’s joke for many, especially for the Ukrainian delegation to the UN. It seems like

“As of April 1, they are raising the level of absurdity to a new level,” said Sergiy Kislitsa, Permanent Representative to Ukraine. “The Security Council as designed is bogged down and unable to address its primary responsibility of preventing and responding to conflict.”

The ambassador said Ukraine would not join the Security Council in April except in cases of “issues of grave national security interest”. Ukraine is not currently a member of the council, but is often asked to speak out on war-related issues.

Supporters of the US, UK, France and Council may show their disapproval by lowering the level of representation at Russia-sponsored events later this month, but accession planning some form of boycott No country known or other protests.

A diplomat at UN headquarters in New York noted that, as in other months, most of the Council’s work in April was devoted to regular briefings and reports on UN peacekeeping missions around the world. I’m here.

A European diplomat said, “It’s important to protect the Council’s remaining work on other files.” An invasion would have an even greater impact on peace and security issues around the world.”

The Council Presidency has empowered monthly incumbents to organize their own sessions, and Russia plans to have three sessions. On April 10, it is expected to hold a briefing on “risks arising from violations of agreements restricting exports of arms and military equipment”, at which it is expected to single out the United States for arms supplies to Ukraine and other allies. in recent years.

Later in the month, he will chair two public forums on “effective multilateralism” and the situation in the Middle East, which will be chaired by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The last time a permanent member of the Council made a unilateral invasion was the US attack on Iraq. Leaving Belarus, Eritrea, Syria and North Korea, some 140 out of 193 Member States voted against Moscow’s position, giving rise to the kind of overwhelming United Nations General Assembly Russia has endured over the past year. The United States was not exposed to the humiliation of such a defeat. South Korea is Russia’s only reliable friend.

Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyansky has denied that his mission is a pariah of the United Nations. “Absolutely not. I feel that the West is currently struggling at the United Nations because more countries understand our position,” said Polianski, with Western allies receiving 140 votes. “So I think the West is rather isolated, but we at the General Assembly are not.”

As for Putin’s ICC arrest warrant, Polyanskiy dismissed it as “not at all related to our activities.” The last time a Russian leader visited UN headquarters was in 2015.

The balance of diplomatic power is less clear in the Security Council than in the General Assembly. Her five permanent council divisions of the US, UK, France, Russia and China have solidified considerably, with China regularly repeating Russia’s points at the Council. The ten non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years. Among the current group, Mozambique, the United Arab Emirates and Gabon have remained largely neutral to Ukrainian aggression.

Brazil is moving to the neutral row. Polianski said the ‘Brics’ group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa was getting closer, and claimed that 20 other countries were interested in joining.

UN Secretary-General Richard Gowan of the International Crisis Group said that under President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazil “is trying to engage with Russia and establish itself as a potential peacemaker against Ukraine.” there are,” he said.

“I don’t think Russia has many close allies on the board, but many board members really want to avoid getting involved in a big power game.” There is a clear sense that Council members want to turn their attention to crises outside Ukraine where the United Nations may be able to do a little more.”

There is no Security Council session on Ukraine scheduled for April, but nine members can vote to put it on the agenda, or members can hold an informal session on the issue.

The apparent impasse and paralysis of the Council over Ukraine helped give the General Assembly more importance, but we expect it will bring much-needed reforms to the operations of the Council founded by the victors of World War II. There are few people.

Perhaps, Kyslytsya admitted, “everyone will get used to this new level of global hypocrisy.”

“It’s a shame,” he added. “But I think it’s quite possible.”