Venezuela today called for wholesale reform of the United Nations – suspending veto rights of the five permanent Security Council members, enlarging the 15-member body, strengthening the General Assembly and opening up the election of Secretary-General.
“The Bolivarian [Venezuelan] Revolution plans to contribute to the rebuilding of the structure and agenda of the United Nations, which reflects the existing and unjust power relationships in the world,” Permanent Representative Jorge Valero told the Assembly.
“This forum – as it is today – helps to reproduce those unjust relations inherited from the Second World War, becoming more exclusive and authoritarian as neo-liberal globalization advances.
He cited what he called the United States’ flouting of the overwhelming demand to end its economic blockade of Cuba and Israel’s refusal to comply with dozens of Council and Assembly resolutions as “two poignant examples that show this unfair and irrational world power architecture.”
A strategy to weaken the Assembly and exclude it from the most relevant world decisions, is being implemented while the Security Council progressively increases its power and influence on the UN agenda, and takes over subjects beyond the purview conferred to it by the UN Charter, he said.
“The rebuilding of the United Nations involves strengthening the General Assembly in the field of international peace and security,” he added, noting that for almost 20 years discussions have been going on about Council reform and strengthening the Assembly, but almost nothing has been achieved.
“Venezuela proposes to suspend the right of veto enjoyed by only five members of the United Nations [China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and US]. This remnant of the Second World War is incompatible with the principle of sovereign equality of States. Venezuela also proposes an increase of the membership of the Security Council in its permanent and non-permanent categories. Why are developing countries deprived of the right to partake in this forum?”
He also called for all States to propose candidates for the UN Secretariat to democratize the election. “In line with democratic principles and transparency, Member States must participate in both the nomination and in the appointment of this senior official. Thus, States would be free to choose among several alternatives,” he said.
“The rebuilding of the United Nations also demands that the responsibilities in matters of international peace and security be fully exercised by the General Assembly as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.”