Dag Hammarskjöld om vetot i säkerhetsrådet

Det här är ett utdrag ur ett tal, The United Nations – an Appraisal, som FN:s generalsekreterare Dag Hammarskjöld höll i New Delhi 1956 inför Indian Council of World Affairs. I sin värdering av organisationen, kort tid efter Bandung-konferensen och mitt under det kalla krigets dagar, hade han osökt anledning att komma in på frågan om vetot i Säkerhetsrådet och de diskussioner i anslutning därtill om reformering av FN-stadgan som hade förts.

It has been especially during the discussions on the revision of the Charter that the question of the veto, the privileged voting position of the permanent members of the Security Council, has come up for discussion again and again.  Harsh words have been said about the use or abuse of the veto; sometimes there seems to me to be a tendency to underestimate the difficulties for the countries possessing the veto right to maintain their line of action in the Council in a way that is faithful to their opinions, without having recourse to the veto. However, the practical question is: Is there any reason to do away with the veto, is there any possibility even to do away with it? I think everybody is agreed that at present the veto could not be abolished, and I doubt whether it would be really desirable to abolish the veto. We must not forget that the veto, from the point of view of those countries which are not permanent members of the Security Council, is a guarantee that decisions taken by the Security Council are unanimous as among the permanent members. Some of the functions of the Security Council involve very heavy responsibilities for all Members of the United Nations, very heavy responsibilities in the military field, in the field of sanctions, police actions and so on. It should not be forgotten that for those countries whose hands would be tied by a decision of the Security Council, it does mean something that there is unanimity of the permanent members behind the decision.

So far as the practical possibility of getting rid of the veto is concerned, I should like to quote Mr. Krishna Menon who, I think, was the one who coined the phrase: “The day we can get rid of the veto there is no need to get rid of it.” This is quite true. The very day we can reach unanimity on the abolition of the veto, we have reached a state of understanding among the permanent members of the Security Council which certainly would mean that the veto would no longer be a major obstacle to action by the Security Council.

Talet i dess helhet finns återgivet i Festskrift till Östen Undén (Stockholm 1956).