What is the presidency of the UN Security Council for?

What is the presidency of the UN Security Council for?

Russia takes the head of the Security Council from Saturday April 1 and for one month. Moscow succeeds Mozambique and precedes Switzerland: the presidency of the executive body of the United Nations is rotating. Each in turn, and for a period of one month, the 15 Member States follow one another.

The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Its members make decisions by a majority of nine votes with the vote for (or abstention) of the five permanent members (China, United States, Russia, France and United Kingdom).

The Presidency of the Council plays the role of facilitator of the debates and general organization of the work over the month. “While it does not confer any particular prerogatives, it nevertheless makes it possible to give political impetus”notes the UN.

Russia was at the head of the Security Council in February 2022

The presidency is thus punctuated by the calendar of regular and mandatory deadlines, such as the renewal of peacekeeping operation mandates, the adoption of certain texts, etc. Moreover, it is customary for the President of the Council to confine himself to the role of observer when a conflict concerning his country is discussed.

The Security Council’s program for April includes a meeting in New York on “effective multilateralism through the defense of the principles of the United Nations Charter”. Moscow announced on Wednesday March 30 that the head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov would take over the presidency himself. Likewise, he intends to lead another session, scheduled for April 25, devoted to the situation in the Middle East.

The last time Russia held the helm of the Council was in February 2022, when the invasion of Ukraine began. If the presidency has already been exercised by controversial countries, this is the first time that the Council will have at its head a country whose head of state is the subject of an arrest warrant. It had never been chaired by a country accused of such documented war crimes.

” Bad joke “

For Ukraine, the Russian presidency seems a ” bad joke “. “Russia has usurped her seat; it is waging a colonial war; its president is a war criminal wanted by the ICC for child abduction “, lambasted the head of Ukrainian diplomacy.

For its part, the American embassy at the UN estimated that Russia ” should not be “ permanent member of the UN Security Council. Since the start of the invasion in Ukraine, several countries have supported this demand.

While it is legally possible to exclude Russia from the Council (the Charter does provide that a member may be ousted in the event of flagrant abuse of human rights), this must be done on the recommendation of the Security Council… where Russia has the right of veto. Similarly, a possible amendment to the Charter which would withdraw permanent member status from Russia must also be validated by the Security Council. So from Russia.

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