European Council president says UN system 'sclerotic, hobbled'
European Council President Charles Michel said Thursday that the United Nations system is "sclerotic and hobbled by hostile forces" and highlighted the pressing need for a revamp of the global body's decision-making process.
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"We must assume our responsibility, and that means being engaged in order to put multilateral cooperation back on solid ground. And to that end, what we need is to first restore trust, solve the most urgent problems, and repair the United Nations system," he said.
"The global effort to combat poverty is weakening. And this war of Russia against Ukraine is exacerbating food insecurity and creating an energy crisis. And finally, we are losing our sense of urgency that the (coronavirus) pandemic had taught us. Progress is too slow," he added.
He also expressed his support for initiatives aimed at restricting veto powers within the UN Security Council during emergency situations and broadening its global representation.
"For the last 19 months, a permanent member of the Security Council -- Russia -- without any shame has been undertaking a war to conquer its neighboring country, which never threatened it in the past," he said.
"It can even abuse its veto rights to prevent sanctions against itself and even use the Security Council to disseminate propaganda, disinformation and lies — let’s be honest," he noted.
Michel said the current structure of the UN Security Council does not adequately represent today's global landscape and undermines the organization's legitimacy.
One key proposal gaining traction is the establishment of a mechanism that combines majority decision-making with a more controlled and flexible use of the veto right.
"Currently, 60 countries have never had a seat on the Security Council. Entire swaths of the world -- Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Asia -- are under- or non-represented. We support a comprehensive reform of the Security Council to amplify the voice of these regions and countries," he added.
The European Union holds the status of a permanent observer at the UN.