US President Joe Biden plans to urge reform of the UN Security Council when he attends the General Assembly, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday.
With US officials frustrated by Moscow’s veto of Security Council measures and declarations over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Biden could urge reforms in private to the UN secretary general and other officials, or take them public, said Sullivan.
“I expect that the president will speak substantively to the question of UN Security Council reform while he is in New York,” Sullivan told reporters.
The question of reforming the Security Council comes up during every international crisis, when one of the five permanent members (United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France) uses its veto power to stifle resolutions backed by others.
But the way in which Moscow has used its veto power since the Ukraine invasion has prompted Washington to revive the issue and push for enlarging the Security Council.
“I think this will be on the agenda and you may very well see him make a public statement” with specific actions, Sullivan said.
“The world can see that when a permanent member acts in this way, it strikes at the heart of the UN Security Council, and so that should lead everyone collectively to put pressure on Moscow to change course,” he said.
In his presentation at the General Assembly, Biden will focus significantly on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a violation of the UN Charter, according to Sullivan.
The charter’s message is “countries cannot conquer their neighbors by force,” he said.
Biden “will speak to every country, those that have joined our broad-based coalition to support Ukraine, and those who so far have stood on the sidelines,” he said.
Biden will also make announcements about the US government’s investments to address global food insecurity, heightened by the invasion of Ukraine, Sullivan said.