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Countries challenge Security Council on use of Veto

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More than 100 countries on Friday challenged Security Council powers to restrict their use of the veto as the United Nations turned 70, with a joint pledge not to oppose resolutions on mass atrocities.

The initiative is aimed at avoiding the kind of gridlock that has paralyzed the Security Council on Syria, with Russia and China vetoing any attempt to sanction the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

With 104 countries on board including Security Council permanent members France and Britain, the “code of conduct” won backing from a majority of the UN’s 193 member states.

Supporters of the drive have lobbied countries for months to sign on to the pledge and pointedly announced the outcome on the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

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