WFUNA Statement on Security Council Veto on Atrocity Crimes

The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations.
Monday, April 28, 2014

NEW YORK, NY -- The Executive Committee of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), elected by non-partisan civil society organizations in over 110 countries, recognizes the primary responsibility of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the maintenance of international peace and security.

Recognizing the fundamental values of the United Nations Charter, we are concerned that the use of the veto power by the UN Security Council’s Permanent Five Member States (P5) – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States – in cases of mass atrocities is damaging the credibility and legitimacy of the UNSC and preventing the UNSC from upholding its mandate to maintain peace.

Noting the difficult and complex political nature of situations where mass atrocities are taking place, we support calls by some UN Member States and other civil society organizations for the P5 to apply a voluntary code of conduct and restrain the use of their veto in mass atrocity situations.

Acknowledging that limiting the veto in atrocity situations could lead to substantial changes and a more effective system to ensure that the international community is able to uphold its responsibility to protect in the face of atrocities, we request the P5 to restrain the use of the veto power in such situations of mass atrocity.

We urge the Permanent Five Member States of the UNSC to use their veto power cautiously, only in situations pertaining to direct threat on their security and ensuring they uphold the original intent and fundamental values of the United Nations Charter.

We, the people’s movement of the United Nations, underscore the importance of civil society’s contributions to the removal of obstacles to peace and security and urge all parties to ensure increased civil society engagement in the calling for P5 veto restraint.

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