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Veto power in Security Council must be scrapped, Iran’s leader says

Veto power in Security Council must be scrapped, Iran’s leader says

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today pinned the United Nations’ “ineptitude” on what he called its “unjust structure,” urging that the veto power of the Security Council’s five permanent members be abolished.

Decisions on substantive matters in the Council require the vote of nine of the body’s 15 members, including the concurring votes of the permanent members: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Major power is monopolized in the Security Council due to the veto privilege, and the main pillar of the Organization, namely the General Assembly, is marginalized,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said.

Speaking on the first day of the Assembly’s annual high-level segment, he said that at least one of the five permanent members of the Council has been party to disputes in recent decades.

“The veto advantage grants impunity to aggression and occupation. How could, therefore, one expect competence while both the judge and the prosecutor are a party to the dispute?” the President asked.

The structure of the UN, he stressed, must be reformed so that all nations can take an active and constructive part in global governance.

The Assembly must be the highest body of the UN, approving all of the activities of the Secretary-General, who Mr. Ahmadinejad said must be the “most independent official.”

“The Secretary-General should not come under pressure from powers and/or the country hosting the Organization for his stating the truth and administration of justice.”

Instead, “all his positions and activities should be taken with the approval of the General Assembly and should be directed towards promoting justice and eliminating discrimination.”

The President also spoke about the situation in the Middle East and the importance of nuclear energy during his address to the Assembly.

In addition, he said that questions remained over the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, and in particular over exactly who was responsible for the attacks.

He called for the UN to set up “an independent, fact-finding group for the event of 11 September so that in the future expressing views about it is not forbidden.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad also said that Iran would host a conference next year to study both terrorism and the means to confront the problem.