UN General Assembly Head Says Security Council Is ‘Paralyzed’, Cannot Maintain Peace Amid Russia–Ukraine War

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.
January 30, 2023Updated: January 30, 2023

The president of the United Nations General Assembly said on Jan. 29 that the 15-member Security Council (UNSC) is “paralyzed” and cannot perform its basic function of maintaining peace amid Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Csaba Korosi made the comments to the Indian news agency PTI after touching down in the nation on Sunday ahead of a three-day visit; an invitation from India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

The visit marks his first to any country since he became president of the 77th UNSC in September last year.

Korosi, a Hungarian diplomat, told PTI that a number of U.N. member nations are pushing for a reform of the UNSC, which is the main policy-making organ of the U.N. and has 10 non-permanent members and five permanent members: Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The UNSC was established in 1946 with the primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security and preventing wars.

‘The Security Council Cannot Discharge Its Basic Function’

However, Korosi told PTI that its responsibilities are now “paralyzed” owing to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

“The Security Council cannot discharge its basic function for a very simple reason. One of the permanent members of the Security Council attacked its neighbor,” Korosi said. “The Security Council should be the body to take action against the aggression. But because of the veto power, the Security Council cannot act,” he added, referencing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Only a permanent member of the UNSC has the power to veto any substantive resolution.

Russia, who is one of those members, launched what President Vladimir Putin called a “special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

The Kremlin has since vetoed UNSC resolutions on Ukraine, including in September last year, when it vetoed a vote on a resolution describing Russia’s attempts to annex four regions of Ukraine—Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya—as “a threat to international peace and security” and called for the decision to be immediately reversed.

China, a close ally of Russia, chose to abstain from voting, as did India, a non-permanent member of the council which also has close relations with the Kremlin.

Composition of Security Council ‘Does Not Reflect Today’s Realities’

Korosi added that the actions of Russia had served to deliver a “very serious lesson” with regard to the future and how global organizations can be improved, while noting that reform in the UNSC is a key issue because the composition of the Security Council reflects “the outcome of the Second World War.”

Korosi noted that the world has changed drastically since the UNSC was established and that geopolitical relations have altered along with “the economic responsibilities in the world in some countries, including in India, including some other very strongly developing countries,” which he said have “actually changed.”

“So, the composition of the Security Council does not reflect today’s realities,” he said, adding that “a whole continent with 50 plus countries, Africa,” does not form part of the council’s permanent members.

He noted that reform of the Security Council is an urgent issue and concrete steps need to be taken to achieve it.

In September, over 70 world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, appealed to the U.N. to reform the Security Council and add more permanent members, including for Africa and Latin America.

However, calls for Security Council reform have previously gone unanswered.

“More than one-third of the U.N. membership directly addressed this question. So, there’s very clearly a push [from] the membership. I do have hopes,” Korosi said on Sunday.