Russia just days away from taking over UN security council

Ukraine: Resolution would ’embolden Russia’ says Nebenzia

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Western leaders have been told they must act now to stop Russia’s “absurd” accession to the presidency of the United Nations Security Council next month. And Oleksandra Matviichuk, an award-winning Ukrainian human rights lawyer, has warned Vladimir Putin will use the role to stymie the international community, a year after he ordered his full-scale invasion of her country.

Russia is scheduled to take over the rolling presidency for a month in April.

Vasily Nebenzia, Russia’s UN Ambassador will therefore take over the Security Council’s chair.

Urging reform of what she called “the world security system”, Ms Matviichuk, whose human rights organisation the Centre for Civil Liberties won the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, added: “It really has reached a dead end as the UN, an organisation created to maintain global peace and protect humanity from the atrocities of war, fails to stop wars and gives the aggressor the global security stage.

“Russia will preside over the UN Security Council this April.

“This means that Russia, which was recognised as the state sponsor of terrorism and whose president the ICC issued arrest warrants against, will set agendas, open debates, limit speaking times for representatives at the most important security council.”

Ms Matviichuk listed five reasons why the situation was “absurd”, explaining: “Russia has already held the UNSC Presidency in February 2022, simultaneously launching a full-scale war against Ukraine.

“Russia, who is not even a member of the UNSC, is once again abusing its power to veto UN resolutions.

“Russia was never admitted as a member of the UN Security Council but usurped the former seat of the now defunct USSR at the UN.

“If Russia is allowed to preside in April 2023, it will again try to manipulate the UNSC to spread disinformation about the war.

“Russia’s Presidency at UNSC undermines the norms of international law, legitimises Russia’s war crimes, and creates a dangerous precedent for the world security system.”

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She stressed: “We need to act to prevent another catastrophe by urging member states to block Russia’s presidency.”

Speaking earlier this month, Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative on the UN, tweeted: “If Russian missiles hit your cities will you let it preside in UN Security Council?”

In a separate tweet in Polish, he added: “Will Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia chair the UN Security Council?

“Would you let a career criminal preside over the Supreme Court?”

The UN Security Council has 15 members, five of which – the USA, UK, China, France and Russia – are permanent.

The remainder are non-permanent members, five of which are elected each year by the UN General Assembly for a two-year term.

The UNSC’s current president is Pedro Afonso Comissário of Mozambique, his country’s former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

The UN says of the UNSC: “The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression.

“It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement.

“In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorise the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

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