What is meant by the right of veto?

What is meant by the right of veto?


The term veto was popularized in 1945 AD after the end of World War II and the establishment of the United Nations. The right of veto was granted to five of the fifteen members of the UN Security Council. Where the International Security Council consists of fifteen members of the United Nations, and they are divided into permanent members, number five, and non-permanent members, number ten, and non-permanent members are elected for two years by the General Assembly of the United Nations, and their election is based on their ability to maintain International peace and security, and there is a permanent representative for each member at the United Nations headquarters, and the member states rotate monthly to preside over the Security Council according to the alphabetical order of their names, and each member has only one vote.

The concept of the right to veto

The word veto is a Latin word that carries the meaning of objection, and in the language, it was mentioned in the dictionary of the comprehensive meanings that the right of veto or the right of veto in politics is (a right reserved for the five countries with a permanent seat in the Security Council of the United Nations to veto and annul the Council’s decisions). The right of veto is a right that allows objection to any resolution submitted without giving reasons for the objection. It is granted to the five permanent members of the Security Council, namely: Russia, China, Britain, France, and the United States, and it is the right to overturn the resolution and not pass it or reject proposed legislation, and it is worth noting that it did not want The word veto was mentioned in the Charter of the United Nations, and even the word “the right to object” was mentioned. But it is actually a right to overturn the decision and not just an objection; It is enough for any of the five permanent members of the Council to object to the decision being rejected once and for all, even if it was accepted by the other fourteen countries.

From an international legal point of view, the veto is a power granted to the permanent members of the UN Security Council to prevent the Council from taking any decision that is not in its interests. And that is by negative voting on the draft resolution, and it is clear from that that for the veto to be implemented, the objecting country must object to the draft resolution by negative voting, but abstention or absence from attendance does not constitute a negative vote on the draft and does not prevent its implementation.

The history and uses of the veto power

The use of the right of veto began with the establishment of the United Nations World Organization in 1945 AD, and from the beginning of its establishment until now, the countries concerned with the right of veto have used it as follows: Moscow used the veto 120 times during the era of the Soviet Union, except them twice during the era of the Russian Federation, and Britain 32 times. Some of them are with the United States or with France or both, and others are to defend Rhodesia to prevent its collapse. Nevertheless, it collapsed and was replaced by the state of Zimbabwe, France 18 times, and China 5 times, while the United States used it 77 times, including 36 times to defend the interests of Israel.

The reason for Moscow's excessive use of the right of veto is due to the aftermath of World War II. Because of its resistance to the West, to the extent that its foreign minister at that time was called Mr. Niyat. That is, the rejectionist always, as for the United States, it nullified 54 resolutions, and in 36 of them, it objected to decisions that criticized Israel or demanded its withdrawal from the Palestinian lands that it occupied in 1967 AD, and then used the right of veto after that in its refusal to condemn Israel when it burned the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque or assassinated The founding sheik of Hamas, Ahmed Yassin. In 2011, the United States annulled a resolution condemning Israeli settlements, despite the approval of fourteen members of it. The United States used its veto power in 1976 against two resolutions calling for giving the Palestinian people their right to self-determination.

The veto rule

The rule of the right of veto or the rule of consensus of the major powers is that each member of the Council has only one vote, and the implementation of any decision related to substantive issues requires nine votes, and the votes of permanent members must be among them, and the last word or deciding the vote is for these members; Because the responsibility for preserving international peace and security lies with them, just as the countries that are parties to the conflict refrain from voting, and the member states of the United Nations and not in the Security Council have the right to participate in the council’s discussions, but they do not have the right to vote on the implementation of decisions, and the council also sets the conditions For the participation of non-member states of the United Nations that are parties to the conflict.

The right to veto contradicts the rules of democratic systems. As the permanent states were not elected for permanent membership in a democratic manner, and decisions are not voted on by a majority system either, just as the right of veto has helped the United States of America support the Israeli entity by nullifying any decision of the UN Security Council that stipulates the need to stop the occupation of lands Palestinian violence and killings and violence against the Palestinian people; This led to questioning the credibility of the United Nations.

In the last ten years, international voices have appeared calling for the expansion of the UN Security Council and the amendment of the United Nations system. And that is by adding other countries such as Germany, Brazil, Japan, and other voices calling for the abolition of the veto system and relying on a more democratic and balanced system. Where some believe that the decisions issued under the right of veto are decisions of weak integrity; However, others believe that the world now cannot bear a new democratic system. So that the authorities are divided into three authorities: the World Legislative Council, the judicial apparatus, and the executive apparatus; This is for political and military reasons outside the scope of idealistic thinking.


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