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Mali: Italy, Russia veto contradicts the the principle of sovereign equality of States

NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 12 – The veto power contradicts the principle of sovereign equality of States, which is central to the UN Charter and needs to be at the basis of any future reform of the UN Security Council”, said the Italian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Gianluca Greco, during a General Assembly debate convened to discuss Russia’s decision to oppose a resolution on Mali.

“Once again we are called to discuss the use of the veto by a Permanent Member of the Security Council. While we regret the circumstances that brought us here today, we welcome the opportunity to highlight the relevance of the implementation of Resolution 76/262 and reiterate our strong opposition to the use of the veto,” Greco said, adding Italy’s voice to that of the other Members of the General Assembly, to strengthen multilateralism, and increase the transparency and accountability of the UN architecture.

According to Greco, the August 30 veto was deplorable for at least three reasons. It prevented the Security Council from assuming its vital responsibilities regarding the situation in Mali, which continues to threaten regional and international peace and security. It was also a disruptive unilateral action that essentially ignored the position of the overwhelming majority of Council members, including Members of the region, which unanimously voted in favor of the renewal of the mandate of the Panel of Experts. Thirdly, the veto weakened the monitoring capabilities of the Security Council and the United Nations System at a critical time for Mali’s political transition and the implementation of the Peace Agreement. Mali, the Ambassador reminded, is currently grappling with the delicate process of MINUSMA’s withdrawal, which has already proven to be very challenging.

Greco agreed that it is necessary to review the sanctions regimes in light of the evolving situation on the ground. However, he noted that in the specific case of Mali, sanctions were never intended to penalize a Member State. On the contrary, both travel bans and asset freezing measures against a limited number of individuals, and the mandate of the expert group were adopted to support the implementation of the peace agreement.

Italy, in particular, appreciated the work of the Expert Group and the detailed information provided in their reports. By vetoing the renewal of the sanctions regime, the Russian Federation deprived not only the Security Council but the entire international community of a valuable tool to assess and decipher the political and security situation in a country facing a complex crisis. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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