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Iran calls on Security Council to stop letting US use it as ‘toolbox’

7 February 2018 16:38

Iran’s UN envoy Al-Habib called on the Security Council to reject intentions to turn it into a tool to pursue national political interests, saying Trump’s administration regards the Security Council as its “toolbox”.

Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Es’hagh Al-Habib, addressed the Security Council Open Debate on “Working Methods of the Security Council” on 6 February 2018.

In his address, the Iranian envoy voiced regret over the fact that the Security Council has allowed other countries such as the US, to use it only as a tool for more dangerous ends.

He noted the increasing list of Security Council failures, especially in regards to the long-lasting occupation of Palestinian territory by the Israeli regime, adding that these failures are a matter of disappointment and frustration for multilateral diplomacy.

Here is the full text of his statement:

Mr. President,

Allow me to first congratulate the State of Kuwait for assuming the Security Council Presidency and convey my Delegation’s appreciation for convening this open debate on the working methods of this Council. Indeed, this is an interesting topic for discussion needed now, more than ever, in order to examine and identify the practical and efficient methods to confront the real challenges of international peace and security.

In view of the time limit, I will highlight the following UN Charter based points that can improve the working methods of the Council upon their implementation and enhance its efficiency in fulfilling its primary responsibility.

The provisional rules of the procedure of the Security Council, which have remained provisional for 70 years, should be formalized in order to improve its transparency and accountability.

Closed meetings and informal consultations should be kept to a minimum and should be the exception rather than the rule.

The establishment of subsidiary organs, mechanisms or formats by the Council should be in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Charter of the United Nations. Furthermore, the Council has a responsibility to ensure that they function within the limits of their mandates. For example, some of the activities undertaken by SCAD clearly fall beyond Note 44 by the President of the Security Council regarding the tasks under the resolution 2231, while they resist to undertake activities being assigned to them by the same Note. Despite the fact that this Council has been repeatedly informed by us and some Members of the council, those deficiencies continue to exist in SG reports each time the Council discusses this issue.

The annual reports of the Security Council to the General Assembly should be more explanatory, comprehensive and analytical. They should assess the work of the Council, including cases in which the Council has failed to act. They should also include the views expressed by members during the consideration of agenda items. We also call on the Council to elaborate on the circumstances under which it adopts the various outcomes, be they resolutions, presidential statements, press statements or other elements to the press.

Pursuant to Article 15, paragraph 1, and Article 24, paragraph 3, of the Charter, the Council should submit special reports for consideration by the General Assembly. However, it does not.

The Council should ensure that its monthly assessments are comprehensive and analytical. The General Assembly may consider proposing parameters for the elaboration of such assessments.

The Council should fully take into account the recommendations of the General Assembly on matters relating to international peace and security consistent with Article 11, paragraph 2, of the Charter.

The Council should cease its ongoing attempts to shift issues on the agenda of the General Assembly or the Economic and Social Council over to the Security Council and the encroachment by the latter on the functions and powers of the Assembly.

Mr. President

It is absolutely vital for the credibility of the Security Council to reject the intentions to turn it into a tool to pursue national political interests and agendas. Unfortunately, it is happening. This intention to use the Council only as a tool for more dangerous ends could not have been made clearer than in the statement by the Permanent Representative of the United States at the meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on 5 March 2006: “It is critical that we use the Council to help mobilize international public opinion. Rest assured, though, we are not relying on the Security Council as the only tool in our toolbox to address this problem.”

It seems that the current US administration now is even more enthusiastic to follow that reckless and failed pattern of regarding the Security Council as its “toolbox”.

Two outrageous examples of such an approach occurred in January this year:

–  On 5 January 2018, the United States pushed for an emergency meeting on an issue that flagrantly falls outside of the scope of its mandate.

–   On 29 January 2018, the US Mission set up a show in DC to present the members of the Security Council with some fabricated evidence, such as a Saudi-supplied destroyed yet intact missile.

These examples are a discredit for the Security Council, especially when recalling the increasing list of Security Council failures to take the slightest action when it comes to genuine issues, such as the long-lasting occupation of Palestinian territory by the Israeli regime,  a regime, emboldened by impunity provided by US to it , shamelessly and flagrantly continues to ridicule and  violate all Council’s resolutions on the Middle East or the most catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen after almost three years of war. These failures of the Council attributable to the obstructionist approach by the US, is a matter of disappointment and frustration for multilateral diplomacy.

Mr. president

I hope this open debate will help to render the Council more democratic, representative, transparent and accountable in all its activities, approaches and procedures, functioning more efficiently and effectively as well as focusing on its real responsibility in maintaining international peace and security.

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