The Power of Veto Threats

The Power of Veto Threats
Eva S.

Veto power is a controversial topic. Its core has been extensively debated, as many view veto power to be undemocratic and out of date. The veto threat is one of the most potent threats in the United Nations. As in any other Iberian Model United Nations Conference, the veto threat was very much present, prompting ultimatums between member nations. 

While debating the Cuban Missile Crisis, numerous member states expressed and country’s position on the topic. Venezuela and Chile agreed that the disarmament and removal of the USSR’s military arsenal from Cuba is essential to keeping peace. Similarly, France, the Republic of China, the United Arab Republics and Ghana expressed their wish for denuclearisation of Cuba and construing a peaceful relationship between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Contrary, Romania, as an ally of the USSR, firmly expressed the delegation’s beliefs that having nuclear arsenal in Cuba is not an issue. Moreover, while the United Kingdom promotes the prioritization of Cuba’s citizens, the USSR expresses that Cuba was helpless and in need of intercontinental ballistic missiles. USSR further claims that the United States should never again destabilize Cuba’s sovereignty for its imperialistic desires. However, the United States explains to the conference room that these military weapons sent by the Soviet Union is a threat to the Americas 

France drafted the first clause on the resolution which stated:Urges all member states to condemn Cuba for the escalating of the Cold War.However, the USSR defended Cuba by explaining that the stationing of the intercontinental ballistic missiles was done solely for the purpose of defending the country from the United States' constant threat of invasion.  

Later in the debate, Ghana questioned the United States legitimacy to hold nuclear weapons while other countries could not. The immediate reply from the US delegation shocked the room, as they claimed that they should have the possession of nuclear weapons, because they are a democratic and responsible country, unlike Cuba and the Castro regime.  

Consequently, the delegation of Ghana decided to pass an amendment adding that the United States was also guilty regarding to the Cuban missile crisis. This is due to the evidence that Cuba suffered embargos coming from the US. Ghana justified its amendment by claiming “No condemnation of Cuba can happen without the condemnation of the US.” Due to this amendment, two veto threats emerged. The USSR passed a veto threat, if the amendment did not pass. Nevertheless, the US passed a veto threat if the amendment did pass, since they should not be blamed for escalating the Cold War. This put the committee in a difficult position so as a result, the P5 met and decided to change the amendment to “Urges all member states to condemn Cuba for the status quo”. Despite the changes the amendment did not pass, proving that the veto power or threat is very powerful and influential within the council, possibly discarding necessary amendments and resolutions.