Security Council should be expanded and Big Five veto power abolished, Ankara foreign minister says
Turkey wants the UN Security Council to be “more inclusive” and eliminate the veto power of permanent members, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on Friday. Cavusoglu’s remarks, on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, reflect Ankara’s long-term policy – but also dovetail with recent US proposals.
“We think the General Assembly, the Security Council should be more inclusive. There are many formulas from different countries, and all countries should be well represented here,” Cavusoglu said, according to state broadcaster TRT.
“Of course, a criterion could be determined according to the population, size and geographical distribution of each country. But on the other hand, the right of veto should also be abolished,” added the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended the vision he dubbed “the world is bigger than five” — referring to the five permanent members of the UNSC — for years, Cavusoglu said, adding that other world leaders were talking about it now.
The UN was created at the end of World War II by the victorious Allied Powers, all of which gained permanent seats on the Security Council, with 10 rotating members elected for two-year terms. While touring Africa in 2021, Erdogan called the arrangement unfair and outdated, with a “a handful of countries” dominating the world.
Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected the idea at the time, saying whether the veto was abolished “the UN would die on the same day – it would become the League of Nations”, a powerless debating club.
Now, however, Erdogan’s idea appears to have at least partial support from Washington. US envoy to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield called the Security Council arrangement “an unsustainable and outdated status quo”. Addressing the General Assembly this week, US President Joe Biden proposed expanding the Security Council and limiting the veto to “rare and extraordinary situations”.
The United States has used its veto more than 80 times, mostly to defend Israel.