What is Veto Power In The UN? Which Countries Have It & How Many Times Has Veto Power Been Used?

Veto Power In The UN: The United Nations Security Council has five members who serve on a rotating basis (UNSC). Different political parties in India are divided on the issue. Political parties have utilized this status to exert veto power since independence. There have been rumors that India would have had veto power had it been a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

What does veto power mean?

The United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members can veto or reject any substantive resolution.

A member’s abstaining vote does not influence whether or not the resolution is accepted. Procedural votes do not affect the veto authority.

The history of the veto

Article 27 of the United Nations Charter outlines these points.

• Each member has a veto;

• A majority of nine members must vote affirmatively on procedural questions; and

• An affirmative vote makes all other decisions of nine members, including the permanent members’ concurring votes.

•If a party is involved in a disagreement, it must abstain from voting in the decision-making process.

Non-permanent members have veto power, which is the most significant difference between permanent and non-permanent members.

As stated in Article 27(3), only permanent members of the Council have the authority to make all substantive decisions on behalf of the entire organization.

The concept of a veto over the actions of international institutions was not new in 1945. If there is a non-procedural issue in the League of Nations, each council member possesses a veto.

Four permanent members and eleven non-permanent members were added to the League Council in 1936, giving the League total of 15 countries with veto power.

How many countries have veto power?

The Security Council’s five permanent fellows have veto power. The following are examples:

1. China

2. France

3. Russia

4. Great Britain

5. The United States.

Critics call it undemocratic and say it’s a catalyst for conflict, but advocates say it’s a tool for world peace. Despite this, many argue that avoiding US Domination is the only way to go.

Do you know how often you’ve had to utilize the Veto Power?

Nearly half of all vetoes have been cast by the USSR/Russia. In 1970, the United States vetoed the first of its 83 vetoes, throwing it on March 17.

At that point, the USSR had cast 107 vetoes. Because of its vital support for Israel, the United States has exercised its veto more frequently than any other permanent member since 1970. For the first time, in 1956, on October 30, the UK exercised its veto during the Suez Crisis.

The veto was used initially by France on June 26, 1946, in response to the Spanish Question and has since been used 18 times.

On December 14, 1955, the Republic of China (ROC) exercised its first veto. The People’s Republic of China (PRC), which succeeded the ROC as a permanent member on October 25, 1971, exercised its remaining 13 vetoes till now.

After the Col War of 1991, things altered. Since December 23, 1989 (S/21048), France and the United Kingdom have not vetoed a resolution condemning the United States’ invasion of Panama. Since 1997, China has used the veto more frequently than any other country, casting 13 of its 16 vetoes. Russia has used the veto 24 times since the Cold War, whereas the United States has used it 16 times.

Moreover, half of Russia’s veto votes have been cast on Syria since 2011. Four Russian vetoes since 2011 were related to the Ukrainian crisis, including one on the 20th anniversary of Srebrenica’s atrocity and another on Yemen sanctions.

China used nine of its vetoes during this period, eight of which were related to Syria and one to Venezuela.

Concerning Israel/Palestine, the United States has exercised its veto power three times since 2011.

In emergency meetings of the General Assembly, can vetoes be used?

During emergency special sessions of the General Assembly, vetoes cannot be applied.

The ‘Uniting For Peace’ resolution is the name given to the resolution authorizing the use of emergency special sessions. UN Security Council members must be “unanimous” to carry out their primary role in maintaining international peace and security, but the General Assembly must take over if they aren’t.

A majority of the General Assembly’s members or the Security Council can call an emergency special session of the Assembly when it is not in session.

Nevertheless, the General Assembly’s actions are not legally obligatory, underscoring that it will never be able to fully replace the Security Council in this regard.


For the record, a veto initially meant “I forbid.” Permanent fellows of the UN Security Council exercise this veto. In Indian politics as well, it’s been a long-running bone of contention. Both Russia and China have utilized it to further their interests and political aspirations. This veto authority of the members has been questioned by the world once again because of the current situation in Ukraine.


What’s wrong with the power to veto?

Criticism has been leveled about this system’s lack of democratic accountability. A single country has the power to thwart the efforts of a majority of the Security Council. The United States, for example, often vetoes resolutions that criticize Israel as a country.

What is the purpose of the veto?

While the veto can be invoked for national security or sovereignty, it is far more usually employed to safeguard the economic interests of member states or for expedient political ends such as shielding allies from blame.

In what way does the veto function?

The veto is a presidential prerogative that allows him to block the passage of a bill or joint resolution. A bill enacted by Congress must be signed into law by the president within ten days (excluding Sundays).

Are there any countries with no veto powers?

The United Nations Security Council does not grant Germany a veto power.

Which country has exercised its veto the most?

Russian vetoes have been the most common, followed by those from the United States and China.

General Knowledge Articles to Read

What is UPSC?Satta Game
Largest & Smallest State / UT in IndiaWildlife Sanctuaries in India
National Tree of IndiaList of State Birds Indian Constitution
IPS Full FormNeighbouring Countries of India
 IAS FULL FORM Teachers Day