At the 66th UN General Assembly session, Latin American leaders have expressed their desire for major changes with respect to the composition of the UNSC as well as the right, reserved for its permanent members, to veto any resolution they deem against their own interests.
The five permanent members of the UNSC are the US, Britain, France, Russia and China, which are all major nuclear powers as well. There are no permanent members in the UNSC that represent major geographical and ethnic areas such as Latin America, Africa, and the Muslim World, for example, according to international observers.
The UNSC has 10 other non-permanent members from different regions of the world that win two-year terms by members of the General Assembly.
“The Security Council lacks representativeness and this undermines its credibility; the world needs a council that brings in new members — Brazil is ready for its responsibilities as a permanent member,” said Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in her address to the UN General Assembly.
The president of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has also called for the elimination of the permanent status with vetoes held by the five permanent members, adding that it has become an obstacle for global stability.
If any of these UNSC permanent members votes against a resolution, it would be rejected, even if all other 14 members vote in favor of the measure.
The recent UN unilateral involvement in Libya has led Latin American leaders to press for amending the UN constitution regarding multilateralism, human rights and the sovereignty of countries.
Among the five veto-wielding powers, the US has used its veto power most often by frequently vetoing virtually all Security Council resolutions that are critical of the Israeli regime for its numerous war crimes and violations of human rights against Palestinians and its neighboring countries. Since 1972, the US has vetoed over 40 UNSC resolutions that were passed against Israel.