Argentina Attacks the Security Council

21 Feb

At yesterday’s opening session of the G20 Foreign Ministers meeting in Mexico, Hector Timerman, representing Argentina, demanded changes to the structure of the United Nations.

Timerman said that the main flaw in global governance was the imbalance at the UN whereby a handful of countries held power in the Security Council, while the General Assembly, with a more egalitarian structure, had little authority. In a veiled reference to Argentina’s dispute with the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands, the Minister pointed out that under the present arrangement one country could ignore General Assembly Resolutions without there being any consequences, as GA Resolutions are only ‘advisory’.

He went on to urge the other Ministers to promote the necessary reforms in order that the General Assembly could become the dominant power within the international organisation.

Argentina has pressed for changes to the UN for some time, frustrated at its inability to force the UK to the negotiating table over the Falklands, and its claim to sovereignty. Both the International Court of Justice, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration are available to answer questions on the right to self-determination, or to resolve sovereignty disputes, but Argentina believes it would have a better chance in the General Assembly. Currently the UN’s Charter does not give it the power to resolve such matters.

Participating in the Summit of Foreign Ministers from the G20 countries were Mexico, the United States, Germany, Japan, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Benin, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Norway and Singapore.

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