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‘Anachronism’: Irish FM slams ‘abuse’ of veto power at UN Security Council

Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin (file photo by Reuters)

The Irish foreign minister has censured the “dysfunctional” United Nations Security Council (UNSC), saying the five-state veto power at the council has “no place in the 21st century.”

Micheal Martin said at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday that the veto is an “anachronism” that “should go,” referring to the United States using its veto power on several occasions to block a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

“It has no place in the 21st century. It really hasn’t, we really have to keep the pressure on that,” Martin said.

The five-state veto power enables the five permanent members of the UNSC-- namely, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, and the Russian Federation-- to veto any disliked resolution.

“We are in no doubt that the Security Council is dysfunctional,” Martin added, criticizing the “dysfunctionality and the abuse of the veto situation at the Security Council.”

He slammed the resolutions on the situation in Gaza as “weak”. “There’s been more veto than action at the Security Council on Gaza for example.”

Israel has so far killed close to 29,000 Palestinians in the war which began in the besieged territory on October 7 with thousands more bodies feared lost amid the ruins.

The United States, on December 8, used its veto power in the United Nations against an anti-Israeli resolution backed by almost all other Security Council members and dozens of other nations demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

Before that, the US had already vetoed a Brazilian UNSC resolution calling for a ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian aid deliveries to the besieged Gaza Strip.

The US pledged on Saturday to veto a new draft of the UNSC resolution put forward by Algeria which seeks an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

“The United States does not support action on this draft resolution. Should it come up for a vote as drafted, it will not be adopted,” US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement.

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