"The important principle of state sovereignty cannot be a straitjacket to keep this Security Council and the Secretary-General from taking necessary action to respond to urgent life-threatening crisis," Power said. "Sovereignty cannot be a shield to prevent outside scrutiny over actions taken in defiance of the principles in the UN Charter."
Power recognized that state sovereignty is an "essential block of the international order," but argued many countries were abusing the concept "as a means of securing for themselves full impunity".
The US ambassador offered Russia as an example for her claim, stating the country has violated Ukraine’s sovereignty in 2014 and then used its veto power at the UN Security Council to "insulate itself from consequences."
Speaking at the UN Security Council meeting earlier, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also said too many opportunities have been lost to prevent conflicts because of concerns over national sovereignty.