Delivered by Mr. Mohamed Bouassiba, Second Secretary

Mr. President,

I would like to thank you for convening this important annual debate on the use of the veto in the Security Council, which we consider as an opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue on situations in which the veto is used.

We would like to express our deep concern regarding the sharp increase in the use of the veto in the Security Council over the past twelve months. Since April 2023, the veto has been used thirteen times, an extraordinary increase compared to previous years. What is most disturbing is that nine of these cases (or about seventy percent) relate to issues occurring in our region, namely the Palestinian issue.

The Council has been repeatedly prevented from taking necessary measures, such as calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and considering Palestine’s application for full membership, even though the vast majority of Member States support these steps. This disturbing pattern underscores the urgent need to reform the Security Council and ensure that the veto is not manipulated to undermine the will of the international community.

We commend the pivotal role of the ten elected members of the Security Council in addressing pressing humanitarian issues, even considering the divisions among the permanent members of the Council. This was demonstrated by their recent success in passing Resolution 2728, which called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip during the holy month of Ramadan, in preparation for a permanent and sustainable ceasefire. We express our deepest concern regarding Israel’s lack of commitment to implementing this resolution.

Mr. President,

The repeated use of the veto and the deep divisions within the Security Council, resulting from favoring geopolitical interests, undermines the international community’s efforts to reach political solutions, lead to the Council’s inability to address many important files, and weaken the legitimacy and credibility of the Council’s resolutions. Even when the veto is not used, resolutions are often issued without consensus, which limits their impact and effectiveness.

To address this unacceptable situation, we stress the need to establish clear and specific criteria for the use of the veto in accordance with international law, the will of the vast majority of Member States, and the impartial opinion of the Secretariat.

We support calls to limit the use of the veto in cases involving crimes of mass atrocity, including the initiative launched by France and Mexico and supported by more than 100 Member States. The veto should not hinder the international community’s action to prevent atrocities against defenseless civilians.

We also welcome the accountability and transparency mechanism established by General Assembly Resolution 262/76, within the framework of which we meet today. This mechanism represents a step in the right direction to minimize the excessive use of the veto and strengthening the role of the General Assembly as the conscience of the international community.

However, there remains an urgent need for further efforts to reform the Security Council, especially regarding regulating the use of the veto. In this regard, we thank the co-chairs of the intergovernmental negotiations, His Excellency Ambassador Tariq AlBanai, Permanent Representative of Kuwait, and His Excellency Ambassador Alexander Marschik, Permanent Representative of Austria, for their tireless work in leading the negotiations.

Mr. President,

The UAE has always believed in the central role of the United Nations in establishing peace, security, and prosperity around the world. But the continued misuse of the veto undermines the confidence and hopes of peoples in the current international order, especially in our Arab region, who is still suffering the burden of wars and instability. 

In conclusion, we stress the need to intensify efforts to reform the Security Council and improve its working methods.

Thank you, Mr. President.