Former foreign minister in Nicaragua's revolutionary Sandinista government of 1979-1990, Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, gave the United Nations Security Council a blast in his opening address to the new annual session of the UN General Assembly on September 16.
D'Escoto, who was elected president of the General Assembly in June, called for the democratisation of the UN, with the powers "wrongly accumulated" in the 15-nation Security Council being given to the General Assembly.
Currently, binding votes can be taken only by the Security Council, which has five permanent members: the US, Britain, Russia, China and France. This, D'Escoto said, makes the term democracy meaningless in the UN. The veto is "abused", and some security council members' "addiction to war" threatens international peace and security, he said.
Referring to the fact that numerous General Assembly votes of more than 95% against the US economic blockade of Cuba have not resulted in the lifting of the blockade, D'Escoto said: "The idea that the clear and unequivocal voice of 'We the peoples' should be regarded as a mere recommendation with no binding power should be buried forever."