UNITED NATIONS, March 5 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council veto should be abolished, the General Assembly president says, blaming recent Russian and Chinese vetoes for fueling Syrian bloodshed.
The ability of Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States to veto council resolutions is outdated, no longer credible, and a danger to world peace and security, Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser told the British newspaper The Independent as he called for broad-based reform of the United Nations' council.
He pointed to Russian and Chinese vetoes Feb. 4 of a Security Council resolution backing an Arab League peace plan for Syria as the latest example of why the veto is no longer defensible.
"Because of disagreement from one or two members who have the right to veto," a resolution seeking to protect Syrian civilians from security forces crushing the anti-Assad regime uprising was blocked, he told the newspaper.
"I am very upset [with Russia and China] because [their vetoes] sent the wrong message and people have suffered, and we see it's getting worse every day," Nasser said.
Russia and China said they vetoed the measure because it could violate Syria's sovereignty. The measure was approved by the council's 13 other members.
"The world has changed" since the United Nations was founded by 51 countries after World War II, he told the newspaper. "The U.N. should also reform itself to deal with the issues of today."
The 193-member world body's inability to provide meaningful help in the European financial crisis much less to countries affected by Arab Spring uprisings points to the need for broad-based U.N. reform, Nasser said.
"We need a very effective U.N. and very effective U.N. Security Council," he said. "If this system is not doing what it's supposed to do, then we need to look for another system."
Nasser, whose one-year term ends in September, called for the Security Council to change to reflect "the whole world in a fair way," which includes fully recognizing emerging powers.
"Then we would see a more effective council," he said.
The council's five permanent members have not changed since the United Nations was formed in 1945.
The council's 10 non-permanent members, which cannot veto resolutions, are elected to two-year terms after being proposed by regional blocs.
The General Assembly is the only U.N. organ in which all member nations have equal representation and no member can veto a resolution. General Assembly resolutions, unlike those of the Security Council, are non-binding.