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Is there any possibility that UN could deprive the Russian Federation of the veto power? Because of what happened at one of the last UN sessions, I think that Russia was misusing its veto right (and it was not the first time) and the world peace was threatened.

  • Very strongly doubt it, but I'll wait for someone else to write you a proper answer. – o0'. Mar 18 '14 at 21:08
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    I'm not sure how this can be answered outside of just offering an opinion. I mean, the obvious answer is still 'no', because you don't want Russia withdrawing from the UN, but still. – Avi Mar 18 '14 at 21:53
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    I would strongly oppose depriving Russia of veto.It would make west free to make international policies against countries like India.I can not forget that it was Russia who protected India from international western military attack in 1971(by using veto and sending it's warships towards India). – Registered User Mar 19 '14 at 4:26
  • @Aditya Patil can you give link to the description of this episode? – lowtech Mar 19 '14 at 20:50
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The answer is No, since Russia is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council. All permanent members have a veto right, and they can any substantive resolution by the Council. The word "permanent" is clear enough that Russia always remains in that position.

You are not the first to ask the question since many members of the United Nations have asked this question in different forms. It is also clear the members of the United Nations have tried to reform the Security Council, mostly because the geopolitics has totally changed since 1945, and the Security Council has changed very little (an increase of the non-permanent membership from six to 10 members). The reform discussions about restructuring the composition in 1990s. In that time, Japan, Germany, Brazil and India wanted permanent seats. Later this group of four countries formed an interest group known as the G4. There were other countries who formed another interest group known as the “Coffee Club” and later “Uniting for Consensus” Italy, Spain, Argentina, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Pakistan who were opposed to the G4 becoming permanent members with a veto power. They favored the expansion of the non-permanent category of seats with members to be elected on a regional basis. African group was demanding two permanent seats for themselves, and they believed that they can rotate the seats between African countries chosen by the African group. Each of the five permanent members had different reactions. The United States supported the permanent membership of Japan and India and a small number of additional non-permanent members. The United Kingdom and France supported the G4 position, with the expansion of permanent and non-permanent members and the accession of Germany, Brazil, India and Japan to permanent member status, as well as an increase the presence by African countries on the Council. China supported the representation of developing countries, and permanent membership of India.

A task force was shaped by the General Assembly to prepare a report for reforming the Security Council (the report on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council) and they tried to find a solution for starting negotiations on reform.

It is important to add that Kofi Annan prepared a plan entitled "In Larger Freedom" in 2005 and proposed two alternatives. A conference in that year studied the proposals. Nothing has been decided yet.

There have been discussions on limiting the use of the veto to vital national security issues or requiring agreement from multiple states before exercising the veto or even abolishing the veto entirely. However, any reform of the veto will be very difficult. Articles 108 and 109 of the United Nations Charter grant the five members a veto over any amendments to the Charter, requiring them to approve of any modifications to the veto power that they themselves hold.

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There's no such thing as misuse of the veto right in the Security Council. It is working exactly as it is supposed to be. Each of the major power has reserved the right to solely block any resolution because of any reason, independent of the other members. This is how the veto works! It assures that UN is unable to take any action agains any interest of the major power without her agreement.

There's no way to take veto right away from the party, except the party agrees with it (which is unlikely) or creating a new organization, without that party. Technically, it could mean expanding NATO to the whole world, which is very unlikely in current geopolitical situation.

The UN remains the highest forum of the international community, even if it's unable to take any action in any case where the major power is involved. Please note also, that if any nuclear power remains outside the international community, it's the major threat to the international security. Even if the whole world would be against Russia, she will still have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the whole world.

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On its own, the UN is a toothless organisation incapable of enforcing any of its numerous resolutions. However given the support of the world's most powerful nations, the UN becomes an important organisation who's decisions are at least somewhat respected around the world. And as it happens, Russia remains one of the world's most powerful nations thanks to its gigantic stockpile of nuclear weapons, capable of destroying all of the world's capitals several times over.

Hence removing Russia from the Security Council would be absolutely useless. Yes, you could now pass numerous resolutions that would otherwise have been vetoed by Russia, but this comes at a cost of Russia being free to completely ignore all of these resolutions at will. And you've now antagonised the country controlling the world's second large nuclear supply, further increasing the risk of World War 3. And China would likewise be antagonised by such a decision as it would rightfully suspect they're on the line to be eliminated from the Security Council.

In short, its better to keep Russia at the negotiations table than to kick them out and weaken the UN.

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