Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, who is presiding over the UN Security Council this month, criticized on Tuesday [August 6] the veto power of the permanent Security Council members and how this power has been used to prevent the adoption of resolutions related to Palestine and Israel’s occupation.Only the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, Russia, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom – wield the veto power that allows them to prevent the adoption of Security Council resolutions.

Fernandez described the veto power as a safeguard during the Cold War era, but was quoted as saying “we can’t deal with the problems in this new world with old instruments and old methods.’

According to the Global Policy Forum, the United States has been the most frequent user of the veto since 1972, with most vetoes preventing the adoption of resolutions related to Israel and Palestine.

From 2001-2012, the United States used its veto power 11 times, and did so most recently in 2011 when it vetoed a Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s illegal settlement activity and called on Israel to immediately stop settlement expansion.

The United Nations News Centre reported that that resolution had been supported by the other fourteen members of the Security Council, and that it has also been cosponsored by more than 120 of the United Nations’ member states.