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Statement delivered by Permanent Representative Amb. Maurizio Massari at General Assembly – Item 60, Use of the veto


Thank you, Mr President.

Italy welcomes this opportunity to discuss Resolution 76/262 and its implementation one year after its adoption under the new agenda item “Use of the veto”. This discussion is particularly timely given the continuing attacks against the UN multilateral system, through military actions, unilateralism, manipulation and the spread of disinformation, including here in New York in these very halls.

In this context, the veto power in the Security Council is part of the problem, as it is often abused to cover up serious breaches of the UN Charter.

Italy was among the cosponsors of Resolution 76/262. We are of the view that the new mechanism established by the Resolution contributes to strengthening the UN system and is a good example of effective multilateralism: by convening this Assembly automatically every time a veto is cast, it increases transparency and accountability.

Its activation twice in the last twelve months, with regard to vetoes cast in relation to two of the situations that most endanger international peace and security, confirms its importance. We also welcome its subsidiary nature with respect to the “Uniting for Peace Resolution” mechanism, which has proved a valuable instrument in responding politically to the vetoes of the Russian Federation with regard to its illegal aggression against Ukraine.

Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates,
the veto power is anachronistic. While understandable in the specific historical context of 1945, nowadays it blatantly contradicts one of the fundamental principles of the UN Charter: the principle of sovereign equality of States, which needs to be at the basis of any future reform of the UN Security Council. In too many occasions the cast of veto has prevented the Security Council from discharging its vital responsibilities with regard to situations endangering international peace and security, in which the UN could have made a real difference on the ground.

While we do not expect the P5 to renounce to this privilege under the Charter – and their position in this respect is fully guaranteed by the amendment procedure under Article 108, we ask and expect them to act responsibly and to provide a full explanation to the whole membership represented in the General Assembly when they cast a veto. Such expectation is largely shared by the UN membership, judging from the consensual adoption of the resolution and by the large participation in the two meetings that have been held so far on its basis.

Mr. President,
the global challenges ahead of us, be it in the field of peace and security, sustainable development, climate action, or human rights and the rule of law, need a strong multilateral response based on the rules-based international order that all too often is misinterpreted and disrespected.

Let us take today’s opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to an effective, democratic and inclusive multilateral system, in which effective decision-making is not undermined by the narrow national political agendas of a few.

I thank you.