May 1 1991

U.N.-Reliable Figures

In the wake of the Gulf War, a New York Timeseditorial (4/15/91) claimed that since the end of the Cold War, the U.N. Security Council is “no longer paralyzed by Soviet vetoes.” The comment shows that Cold War propaganda lives on: For years, it hasn’t been the USSR that has been paralyzing the Security Council, but the USA. Since the beginning of the Reagan administration, the U.S. has led the world with 47 vetoes of council resolutions. In the same time period, Britain used the veto 15 times and France cast seven. The USSR, constantly blamed in the U.S. press for thwarting the international will, used its veto exactly twice in the last 10 years — and hasn’t used it at all since 1984. (China, the remaining veto power, has not vetoed a resolution since 1972.)