Despite Ukraine pleading with other council members to oppose the action, Russia has assumed the leadership of the UN Security Council. On a rotating basis, each of the 15 members of the council has the leadership for one month.
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In February 2022, when Russia last held the president, it started a full-scale assault on Ukraine. It denotes that a nation whose president is wanted internationally for suspected war crimes is in charge of the Security Council.
The arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin was issued last month by the International Criminal Court, a non-UN body. Notwithstanding Ukraine’s complaints, the US claimed it was powerless to prevent Russia, a permanent member of the council, from taking the helm.
The United Kingdom, the United States, France, and China are the council’s other full members. Vasily Nebenzia, Moscow’s envoy to the UN, informed the Russian Tass media outlet that he intended to preside over numerous discussions, including one on nuclear disarmament. The position is primarily procedural.
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He promised to talk about the “new world order” that will “replace the unipolar one.”
The Russian presidency has been dubbed “the worst April Fool’s joke ever” and a “stark warning that something is amiss with the way the international security infrastructure is functioning,” according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
He also described it as “a rude awakening to the world community” in a later statement on Saturday.
Mykhaylo Podolyak, the president of Ukraine, referred to the decision as “another sexual assault of international humanitarian law… an organization that raises an aggressive war, infringes the rules of humanistic and criminal law, tramples on the UN Charter, disregards nuclear safety, and can’t lead the big global security organization.”
Last year, President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded that the Security Council be reformed or “dissolved entirely,” accusing it of not doing enough to stop Russia’s invasion. He has also demanded that Russia lose its membership.
Yet, the US has claimed that because the UN charter forbids the expulsion of a regular member, it is unable to act.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, said last week during a news briefing that “Regrettably, Russia is a full member of the Security Council and there exists no practical international legal avenue to change that reality.”
To defend its activities in Ukraine, Moscow would “continue to exploit its presence on the committee to promote disinformation,” she warned.
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The UN Security Council is indeed an international organization tasked with keeping the peace.
There are five permanent members of the Security Council. They are a reflection of the post-war structure of power in place at the time the council was established. This group collaborates with 10 non-permanent member nations. Russia has the power to veto proposals because it is a permanent member of the Security Council. A Security Council vote must receive nine yes votes and have just one of the five permanent council members abstain.
Russia blocked a resolution meant to put a stop to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February of last year (China, India, and the United Arab Emirates all abstained).
It rejected a resolution in September that demanded that its unlawful annexation of four Ukrainian territories be undone. India, China, Gabon, and Brazil did not vote.