President Biden should build on his administration’s rhetoric to reform the UN Security Council in the face of flagrant violations of the UN charter by one of the council’s permanent members: Russia.
“The council needs to be more representative of more of the world’s population, and it needs to be filled with countries willing to abide by the charter and work together on common issues,” a senior department official said Tuesday. State, before Biden’s speech. at the UN General Assembly.
It remains to be seen what exactly the US president will say about this, and whether the US will come forward with any specific proposals this week.
“I expect the President to speak substantively on the issue of UN Security Council reform while he is in New York. Whether he does so publicly or communicates privately with the Secretary General and others, we continue to work today,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield noted earlier this month that the US had co-sponsored a “veto resolution that asks permanent members to explain their veto to the General Assembly”. She also said the Security Council should “better reflect current global realities and incorporate more geographically diverse perspectives.”
Biden is not expected to directly call for Russia’s withdrawal from the Security Council, but should speak more specifically about reforming the council than he has done before.
One official suggested the United States could push to expand the number of permanent members of the council.
Currently, five nations have permanent seats and veto power on the council: the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom.
“Historically, we have named three countries that we believe should be members of the Security Council: Germany, Japan, India,” the senior State Department official noted. “So presumably, if the president kicks off a real conversation and we get back to serious negotiations about what it will look like, which countries will benefit from it. We will support it.
However, they also said the “idea is to open it up more widely”, noting that “we have whole continents that don’t have permanent representation” on the council.
Officials say it’s an important issue to pursue, especially in light of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The senior State Department official also accused Beijing of violating the principles of the UN charter, citing Beijing’s response to President Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan as an example.
CNN’s Kevin Liptak contributed to this post.