US use of veto at the United Nations

In the United Nations, five countries (called the Permanent Members of the Security Council) can veto a United Nations Security Council resolution. These five are the USA, the UK, France,Russia (USSR before 1990), and China (Taiwan before 1971).

This is a list of these resolutions vetoed by the USA as well as resolutions in the General Assembly of the United Nations where the USA vote is against the majority of the world. The USA used its veto over 70 times during the 20th century. On the majority of occasions, the USA vetoed resolutions that were favoured by the majority of the world’s nations. Very little of the USA’s voting patterns is reported in the Western media. When other countries consider voting against a resolution put forward by the USA, they are usually demonized in the Western media and the whole basis of the United Nations called into question.

The United Nations and its voting system was set up at the end of World War II by the victorious nations from that conflict. There is, perhaps, an argument to modify the United Nations voting system and make it more representative of the modern world.

Even with its faults, the United Nations is not a few people in an office it is the world community. It is the rest of the world the 94% of the world’s population that is not from the USA. By damning and ignoring the United Nations, the USA is snubbing the majority of the world’s population.

This will not make the USA more popular around the world. As one commentator on USA baseball in the UK noted: “Only the USA could have a World Series and not invite the rest of the world”. This is the political equivalent

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YearResolution vetoed by USA
1972Condemns Israel for killing hundreds of people in Syria and Lebanon in air raids.
1973Affirms the rights of the Palestinians and calls on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.
1976Condemns Israel for attacking Lebanese civilians.
Condemns Israel for building settlements in the occupied territories.
Calls for self determination for the Palestinians.
Afirms the rights of the Palestinians.
1976Condemns South Africa's attempts to impose apartheid on Namibia.
1976For the admission of Vietnam to the United Nations.
1977Condemns the apartheid situation in South Africa.
1978Urges the permanent members (USA, USSR, UK, France, China) to insure United Nations decisions on the maintenance of international peace and security.
Criticises the living conditions of the Palestinians.
Condemns the Israeli human rights record in occupied territories.
1978Calls for developed countries to increase the quantity and quality of development assistance to underdeveloped countries.
1979Calls for an end to all military and nuclear collaboration with the apartheid South Africa.
Strengthens the arms embargo against South Africa.
Offers assistance to all the oppressed people of South Africa and their liberation movement.
Concerns negotiations on disarmament and cessation of the nuclear arms race.
Calls for the return of all inhabitants expelled by Israel.
Demands that Israel desist from human rights violations.
Requests a report on the living conditions of Palestinians in occupied Arab countries.
Offers assistance to the Palestinian people.
Discusses sovereignty over national resources in occupied Arab territories.
Calls for protection of developing counties' exports.
Calls for alternative approaches within the United Nations system for improving the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Opposes support for intervention in the internal or external affairs of states.
For a United Nations Conference on Women.
To include Palestinian women in the United Nations Conference on Women.
Safeguards rights of developing countries in multinational trade negotiations.
1980Requests Israel to return displaced persons.
Condemns Israeli policy regarding the living conditions of the Palestinian people.
Condemns Israeli human rights practices in occupied territories.
Afirms the right of self determination for the Palestinians.
1980Offers assistance to the oppressed people of South Africa and their national liberation movement.
1980Attempts to establish a New International Economic Order to promote the growth of underdeveloped countries and international economic co-operation.
Endorses the Program of Action for Second Half of United Nations Decade for Women.
Declaration of non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.
Emphasises that the development of nations and individuals is a human right.
Calls for the cessation of all nuclear test explosions.
Calls for the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
1981Promotes co-operative movements in developing countries.
Affirms the right of every state to choose its economic and social system in accord with the will of its people, without outside interference in whatever form it takes.
1981Condemns activities of foreign economic interests in colonial territories.
Calls for the ending of all test explosions of nuclear weapons.
Calls for action in support of measures to prevent nuclear war, curb the arms race and promote disarmament.
Urges negotiations on prohibition of chemical and biological weapons.
Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc are human rights.
Concerns changes to the United Nations accounting methods.
1981Condemns South Africa for attacks on neighbouring states, condemns apartheid and attempts to strengthen sanctions.
1981Condemns an attempted coup by South Africa on the Seychelles.
1981Demands that Israel cease excavations in areas of East Jerusalem considered by the United Nations to be part of the occupied territories.
Condemns Israel for bombing Iraqi nuclear installations.
Condemns Israeli policy regarding living conditions of the Palestinian people.
To establish a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East.
To establish rights for the Palestinian people.
To clarify the status of Jerusalem.
Discusses Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip.
Concering the rights of displaced Palestinians to return to their homes.
Concerning revenues from Palestinian refugees' properties.
Establishment of the University of Jerusalem for Palestinian refugees.
Concerning Israeli human rights violations in occupied territories.
Condemns Israel closing of universities in occupied territories.
Opposes Israel's decision to build a canal linking the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
Discusses sovereignty over national resources in occupied Palestine and other Arab territories.
Affirms the non-applicability of Israeli law over the Golan Heights.
1982Condemns the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
1982Condemns the shooting of 11 Muslims at a shrine in Jerusalem by an Israeli soldier.
Calls on Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights occupied in 1967.
1982For the ratification of the convention on the suppression and punishment of apartheid.
To promote international action against apartheid.
Condemns apartheid in sports.
Calls for the cessation of further foreign investments and loans for South Africa.
1982Calls for the setting up of a World Charter for the protection of the ecology.
Sets up a United Nations conference on succession of states in respect to state property, archives and debts.
Nuclear test bans and negotiations and nuclear free outer space.
Supports a new world information and communications order.
Prohibition of chemical and bacteriological weapons.
Development of international law.
To prevent the exclusion of certain United Nations employees.
Protects against products harmful to health and the environment.
Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development are human rights.
Implementation of the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States.
Concerning the adequacy of facilities of the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
Development of the energy resources of developing countries.
Restructuring international economic relations towards establishing a new international economic order.
1983Afirms the right of every state to choose its economic and social system in accord with the will of its people, without outside interference in whatever form it takes.
Resolutions against apartheid South Africa.
Prevention of an arms race in outer space.
Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development are human rights.
Concerning international law.
Concerning the Transport and Communications Decade in Africa.
Prohibition of manufacture of new weapons of mass destruction.
Reversing the arms race.
Prohibition of chemical and bacteriological weapons.
Requests a study on the naval arms race.
Concerning disarmament and security.
Strengthening the United Nations to respond to natural and other disasters.
1984Condemns support of South Africa in its Namibian and other policies.
International action to eliminate apartheid.
1984Condemns Israel for occupying and attacking southern Lebanon.
1984Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States.
Condemns Israeli attack against Iraqi nuclear installation.
On the elimination of racial discrimination.
Affirms the rights of the Palestinian people.
For the convening of a Middle East peace conference.
Prohibition of new types of weapons of mass destruction.
Prohibition of chemical and bacteriological weapons.
Concerning the law of the sea.
Concerning Israeli human rights violations in occupied territories.
Condemns assassination attempts against Palestinian mayors.
Condemns Israel for failing to place its nuclear facilities under international safeguards.
Concerning a nuclear test ban.
To study military research and development.
Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
Proposing economic assistance to the Palestinian people.
Support for the United Nations Industrial Development Organsiation.
Concerning the Industrial Development Decade for Africa.
Questions regarding the Economic Commission for Western Asia.
1985Condemns Israel for occupying and attacking southern Lebanon.
Condemns Israel for using excessive force in the occupied territories.
1985Resolutions about cooperation, human rights, trade and development.
Measures to be taken against Nazi, Fascist and neo-Fascist activities.
1986Calls on all governments (including the USA) to observe international law.
1986Condemns Israel for its actions against Lebanese civilians.
Calls on Israel to respect Muslim holy places.
Condemns Israel for sky-jacking a Libyan airliner.
1986To set up a zone of peace and cooperation in the South Atlantic.
To eliminate existing imbalances in the information and communications fields.
To Strengthen of international security.
Dialogue to improve the international situation.
For the establishment of a comprehensive system of international peace and security.
Declaration on the right to development.
Measures to improve the situation and ensure the human rights and dignity of all migrant workers.
Protection against products harmful to health and the environment.
1987Calls on Israel to abide by the Geneva Conventions in its treatment of the Palestinians.
Calls on Israel to stop deporting Palestinians.
1987Condemns Israel for its actions in Lebanon.
Calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon.
1987Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States.
Calls for compliance in the International Court of Justice concerning military and paramilitary activities against Nicaragua and a call to end the trade embargo against Nicaragua.
Measures to prevent international terrorism, study the underlying political and economic causes of terrorism, convene a conference to define terrorism and to differentiate it from the struggle of people from national liberation.
Resolutions concerning journalism, international debt and trade.
Opposition to the build up of weapons in space.
Opposition to the development of new weapons of mass destruction.
Opposition to nuclear testing.
Proposal to set up South Atlantic "Zone of Peace".
1988Condemns Israeli practices against Palestinians in the occupied territories.
1989Condemns USA invasion of Panama.
Condemns USA troops for ransacking the residence of the Nicaraguan ambassador in Panama.
1989Condemns USA for shooting down 2 Libyan aircraft.
1989Condemns USA support for the Contra army in Nicaragua.
Condemns illegal USA embargo of Nicaragua.
Opposing the acquisition of territory by force.
Calling for a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict based on earlier UN resoltions.
1990To send three UN Security Council observers to the occupied territories.
1995Affirms that land in East Jerusalem annexed by Israel is occupied territory.
1997Calls on Israel to cease building settlements in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories.
1999Calls on the USA to end its trade embargo on Cuba.
2001To send unarmed monitors to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Condemns Israel for acts of terror against civilians in the occupied territories.
To set up the International Criminal Court.
2002To renew the peace keeping mission in Bosnia.
2002Condemns the killing of UK worker for the United Nations by Israeli forces. Condemns the destruction of the World Food Programme warehouse.
2003Condemns a decision by the Israeli parliament to "remove" the elected Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat.
Condemns the building of a wall by Israel on Palestinian land.
2004Condemns the assassination of Hamas leader, Sheik Ahmad Yassin.
2004Condemns the Israeli incursion and killings in Gaza.
2004Production and processing of weapon-usable material should be under international control.
2006Calls for an end to Israeli military incursions and attacks on Gaza.
2006Calls for an end to the financial embargo against Cuba.
2007Calls for peaceful uses for outer space.
Calls for a convention against female descrimination.
Concerning the rights of children.
Concerning the right to food.
On the applicability of the Geneva Convention to the protection of civilians in time of war.
Calls for the protection of the global climate.
Calls for Indian Ocean to be declared a zone of peace. Calls for a nuclear weapon free South East Asia.
2007Calls for the right of self determination for the Palestinian people. Other resolutions regarding the Palestinians and their rights.
2008Calls for progress towards an arms trade treaty.
Banning the development of new weapons of mass destruction.
Assuring non-nuclear states they will not be attacked or threatened with nuclear weapons.
Prevention of the development of an arms race in outer space and transparency in outer space activities.
Calls to decrease the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems and to ban nuclear weapons.
Calls to end the use of depleted Uranium in weapons.
Concerning the trade in illicit small arms.
Calls for a nuclear free Central Asia and a nuclear free Southern Hemisphere. Prevention of proliferation in the Middle East.
Calls for a comprehensive (nuclear) test ban treaty. Calls for a nuclear weapon free world.
2008Resolutions concerning Palestine, its people, their property and Israeli practices in Palestine, including settlements.
2009Calls for an end to the 22 day long Israeli attack on Gaza.
2011Calls for a halt to the illegal Israeli West Bank settlements.
2011Calls for Israel to cease obstructing the movement and access of the staff, vehicles and supplies of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).
2011Calls for the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.

Originally published: KryssTal

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