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RE: [casi] Hans Blix

> UNMOVIC was created by resolution 1284 of 17 December 1999. As you all
> remember, three of the five permanent members of the Security
> Council (namely
> France, China and Russia) abstained from voting on this
> resolution. According to
> Article 27 of the Charter of the UN, this resolution should NOT
> have even been
> adopted, because it did not fulfill the requirement laid down by
> the Charter: it

Article 27 reads:

> Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an
affirmative vote
> of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members;
provided that,
> in decisions under Chapter VI, and under paragraph 3 of Article 52, a
party to a dispute
> shall abstain from voting." []

The first clause is the relevant one here.  It does not require the
concurring votes of all five permanent members, merely "the permanent
members".  While it may have been clearer to phrase this as "those permanent
members voting", I have heard nothing to suggest that this is not how it has
always been interpreted.  Thus, a single vote against a resolution by a
permanent member is sufficient to block a resolution, but abstentions have
never, to my knowledge, been so interpreted.

It is certainly the case that the abstentions of China, France, Russia and
Malaysia (a non-permanent member) reduced the perceived support for the

Colin Rowat

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