Egypt calls for Security Council reform

Rana Muhammad Taha
3 Min Read

The United Nations Security Council’s discussion of states’ domestic affairs or any other issues which do not threaten international peace and security is a breach of the UN Charter, according to Moataz Ahmadein Khalil, Egypt’s permanent envoy to the United Nations.

Khalil delivered a statement to the Security Council on behalf of Egypt on Tuesday, calling on the council to respect its jurisdiction, outlined in the UN Charter.

Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on Wednesday outlining Khalil’s speech in which he laid out Egypt’s vision for the council’s reform. Among Egypt’s top suggestions, the envoy said, would be developing the working methods of the Security Council and increasing the number of its members.

The Security Council is made up of 15 member-states. Five member-states are permanent and therefore possess veto powers: the United States, the Russian Federation, the Peoples’ Republic of China, the French Republic and the United Kingdom. The ten remaining member-states change every two years; five new members are elected every year to replace two-year old members.

Khalil stressed that the council’s working methods are not exclusive to the council’s member-states alone, citing Article 24 of Chapter V in the UN Charter, which states that the UN member-states confer on the Security Council the responsibility to carry out its duties on their behalf.

Egypt had earlier applauded Saudi Arabia’s rejection of a UN Security Council seat. Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said the rejection is a clear and strong message of the Arab world’s frustration. He added that the council is “faltering in assuming its full responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security and in dealing with urgent issues in the Middle East.”

The Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in Egypt on 15 August, a day after two encampments set-up in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Greater Cairo were violently dispersed by the police. The council called for an end to the violence and exercising maximum restraint in Egypt. The UN Security Council convention, called for by France, the UK and Australia, was widely criticised in Egypt and viewed as a breach of the council’s jurisdiction.

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