The United Nations has yet to realize the high hopes that accompanied its birth 67 years ago due to the high-handedness of some states, and the General Assembly should be given final authority over the Security Council, the Vice-Foreign Minister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Pak Kil Yon, said today.
“Unless the high-handedness and arbitrariness of certain countries are not eliminated thoroughly, it's hard to say that the UN is playing its function and role as a centre for coordinating cooperative relations between states based on the principle of sovereign equality as enshrined in the UN Charter,” the Vice-Foreign Minister told the Assembly on the last day of its annual General Debate at its UN Headquarters in New York.
“The most serious issue in the international arena at present is violation of the principles of respect for sovereignty and equality,” he said, citing “the unjustifiable interference, pressure and use of force” violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, where more than 18,000 people have been killed and 260,000 others driven from their homes since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad erupted some 19 months ago.
Calling for UN reform, the Vice-Foreign Minister said democratization and strengthening the authority of the Assembly are urgent issues, with the 193-member body representing the general will of all the UN Member States for the supervision of the overall activities of the UN.
“In particular, the UNGA (UN General Assembly) should be given the authority to undertake final review of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions related to peace and security such as sanctions and use of force,” Mr. Pak stated.
At present, according to the structures of the UN system, only resolutions passed by the 15-member Security Council are legally binding.
“The UNSC reform, which is at the core of the overall UN reform, is a matter that brooks no further delay and it should be carried out in such a manner that it guarantees responsibility, transparency, impartiality and objectivity in its activities and ensures full representation of developing countries in its composition,” Mr. Pak said.
He noted that politicization, selectivity and double-standards in deliberations of human rights should be ended, adding: “We should never allow the continued situation where the human rights situations of selected countries are either called into question or simply ignored in accordance with the political purpose and interests of the West and the western standard values.”
The DPRK official is among scores of world leaders and other high-level officials presenting their views and comments on issues of individual, national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends later on Monday.