McCormick: remove Russia from the United Nations Security Council

Lisa McCormick is urging the United Nations General Assembly to remove Russia from the Security Council, arguing that Moscow was granted its seat on the panel responsible for the maintenance of international peace on the basis of a legal opinion, with no formal action ever taken to formally approve it following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

By having veto power in the UN Security Council, Russia presents a threat to international peace and stability, so the progressive New Jersey says world leaders should heed the recommendation from Ukraine’s permanent representative to the UN by taking action to revoke Russia’s membership in the Security Council.

Sergiy Kyslytsya and Lisa McCormick

“If Russia cannot be relied upon to preserve peace then it should be removed from the United Nations Security Council,” said McCormick. “The global response to this unwarranted and violent invasion of Ukraine should not be blocked by a rogue state that has no right to permanent membership. The United Nations General Assembly should rule that Russia is not entitled to the power it assumed when the Soviet Union disbanded in 1991.”

Speaking at a UN Security Council meeting immediately after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s permanent representative to the UN, raised the important question of how legally Russia has become a member of the UN Security Council instead of the USSR.

“The Russian Federation ought to relinquish responsibilities of the President of the Security Council,” said Kyslytsya. “Pass these responsibilities onto a legitimate member of the Security Council, a member that is respectful of the charter.”

“I ask the members of the Security Council to convene an emergency meeting immediately and consider all necessary job decisions to stop the war,” said Kyslytsya.

“Vladimir Putin should face criminal consequences for his culpability in this murderous rampage,” said McCormick, who argued that world leaders must assert greater restraints to ensure peace because war must be made obsolete in this age of global killer weapons.

It is the responsibility of the United Nations to stop war, said McCormick.

Russia on Friday, February 26, 2022, vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have demanded that Moscow immediately stop its attack on Ukraine and withdraw all troops, a move possible only because it took the Soviet Union’s permanent membership on the basis of a legal opinion written by UN legal counsel dated 19 December 1991 that the Russian Federation be permitted to join the security council as the successor to the Soviet Union.

A ‘no’ vote from any one of the five permanent members of the Council stops action on any measure put before it. The body’s recognized permanent members are the United States, China, France, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation but that last one could be in doubt.

McCormick said she supports Ukraine’s claim that the constituent republics of the USSR declared in 1991 that the Soviet Union ceased to exist, and with it should have gone the legal right of any of those entities, including Russia, to sit on the security council.

McCormick said she is calling on every member of the United Nations to do everything possible to compel Russia to give up on its misguided and unwarranted war.

Since Vladimir Putin became president of the Russian Federation, the international security architecture has been put at threat multiple times through Russia’s sabotage of the UNSC, a major instrument of international security.

“The Russian government is killing innocent Ukrainian civilians, committing war crimes, and invading sovereign territory,” said McCormick. “Moscow should not be driving decisions in the United Nations as a permanent member of the Security Council.”

“After going to war without provocation, Russia will be expelled from the international community,” said McCormick. “There is no reason why the criminals responsible for this chaos and destruction should be exempt from accountability, and it is inappropriate to let Russia maintain its veto over security decisions.”

“No decision to permit Russia to the security council was ever put to the General Assembly,” said McCormick. “The UN charter was never amended after the USSR broke up. It still references the Soviet Union, and not Russia, as one of the permanent members of the UN security council.”

“Putin may harbor ambitions for rebuilding the Soviet Union but his ambassador should not be allowed to veto the United Nations’ response to this aggression by the Russian Federation because that is a direct threat to global security,” said McCormick.

This resolution urges the Biden Administration to take all steps necessary to remove the Russian Federation as a Permanent Member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council.
Removing Russia’s status as a Permanent Member of the Security Council eliminates Moscow’s veto power over Security Council Resolutions.

Allowing Russia to retain its permanent position despite its abuse of international law threatens the very credibility of the Security Council and undermines the fundamental values of peace and security on which the UN is built.

It is also possible that the USSR’s seat was never properly transferred to the Russian Federation, as there was not a formal process such as amendment of the UN Charter after the fall of the Soviet Union.

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