22 October 2016

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UN human rights chief calls to limit veto use at UN Security Council

The UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, on Tuesday called for initiatives such as preventing UN Security Council's permanent members from vetoing council resolutions to help prevent severe crimes, according to The Associated Press.

He says the Security Council should adopt rules to limit veto use in cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. Russia, an ally of Syria's government, holds veto power along with the United States, France, Britain and China, The AP reported.

Zeid says that attacks over the last 10 days in rebel parts of Aleppo, including airstrikes by Syrian and Russian forces, have been "the most intense" there since Syria's civil war began in 2011.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko says that Ukraine has not stepped back from the idea of depriving the Russian Federation of its veto right at the UNSC.

"I won't say this task is unachievable. Perhaps, it may be fulfilled but it's a long process. You see, everyone here at the UN is afraid of the word 'precedent.' That's why it's not about the member states not supporting the idea of depriving Russia of its veto right. It's about them being afraid that this could also relate to them. That is, the other four permanent members of the Security Council, who also have the veto right, will never go for it, of course," Yelchenko said.

Ukraine's diplomat explains how to bypass Russia's veto in creating MH17 tribunalThe UN Security Council is the UN's most powerful structure, it enjoys the authority to issue legally binding resolutions that can be supported by sanctions, UN peacekeepers or by force of arms.

There are five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – who were the second world war's principal victors, all of whom are now nuclear-armed states. There are also 10 temporary members at any one time, elected by the general assembly for two-year terms.

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