Remarks by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha at the UN General Assembly session on Strengthening of the United Nations

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8 June 2022

Mr. President,

Distinguished colleagues,

Albania aligns with the statement made on behalf of the European Union and its member states. I would like to make the following points in my national capacity:

We welcome this first and historic meeting in implementation of UNGA Resolution 76/262. Strengthening the multilateral system, with UN at its core, is essential for delivering on defending the international law, maintain international peace and security and ensure legitimacy of the Security Council.

Unfortunately, on 26 May 2022, two Permanent Members of the Security Council vetoed a draft resolution on DPRK under Chapter VII. This was the first time in the last fifteen years that the Council was divided on this issue, and came, surprisingly, at a moment when the DPRK regime is violating without any remorse multiple Security Council resolutions and showing contempt for International Law.

Colleagues,

Let’s recall the facts: since January 2022, the regime in DPRK has intensified and diversified its ballistic missile launches. It has conducted over 30 tests without notification, without observing maritime and airspace regulations. The Council has met repeatedly on this issue but it has not been able to issue any condemnation.

Three days ago, on June 5th, just one week after the draft resolution was vetoed in the Security Council, DPRK launched several ballistic missiles towards East Sea. It had never happened before for DPRK to test-fire a barrage of short-range ballistic missiles from multiple locations. Evidently, a situation where the Security Council is blocked and the international community is divided, is considered by the DPRK regime as a license to break the law with impunity.

We are concerned by the objective of the DPRK regime to enhance the operationalization of its WMD and ballistic missile program. We condemn all ICBM launches from the DPRK and call to end its continuous unilateral and grave escalations, that are seriously threatening the Korean Peninsula, Indo-Pacific region and the whole world. We call on the DPRK to implement in full the SC resolutions. They are not papers to be contemplated but documents to be implemented.

The regretful reality is that such misuse of veto only tolerates the repeated violation the international law and the security council resolutions and by doing so, award a regime that is pursuing a militarization and proliferation policy, that is failing to abide by the Non-proliferation Treaty; that is disregarding IAEA safeguards and other international norms and obligations, threatening peace and stability in the region and beyond.

So, there are some very important questions that need to be answered:

– We need to reflect on how the use of the Veto in this case has contributed to the maintenance of peace and security?

– How has it helped the Security Council be relevant and credible?

– How has it enabled the Council to perform its duties and live up with its responsibilities on DPRK?

– How has the Council, in this case, been able to act on behalf of the UN wider membership? with what attitude?

Excellencies,

When the leadership of Pyongyang is parading the advancement of its missile program, the Council is veto-paralyzed and transformed into a spectator. Is this what we want and aspire for?

When a country is brutally attacked by another, the Security Council is veto-paralyzed and held hostage. Is this the way to promote peace?

When for more than 11 long years, a barrage of 16 vetos have shielded the regime in Syria preventing a much-needed referral of the situation to the ICC, how can we claim to support accountability?

What message would it give to other obscure regimes aspiring to do the same or worse, and who may very soon be posing new threats to the peace and security world-wide?

If international law and the body entrusted with maintenance of peace and security cannot stand on their way, who will stop them?

This is not a way to promote peace and security!

This is not a way to strengthen multilateralism, which nowadays is needed more than ever.

This is not a way to making the world a better and a safer place as we have committed to.

Dear Colleagues,

The misuse of the veto undermines efforts to finding just and lasting solutions, however difficult they may prove to be.

The veto cannot and must not be seen as a carte blanche for impunity, offering the illusion of a quick solution when in reality it reflects only an ability of obstruction.

This is why Albania advocates for the reform of the use of the veto and supports the French-Mexican initiative for members to voluntarily and collectively suspend the use of the veto in the event of mass atrocities.

The veto should reflect the principle of responsible use of a special power, not the misuse of a privilege.

Therefore, we need to build a culture of accountability and transparency around the use of the veto in such way that it does not prevent the Council from taking action in situations that require strong responses from the United Nations, in the spirit of “We the People” and for the people.

Thank you!

 

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