As the Israel-Hamas conflict intensifies and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens, the United States has made a bold move by putting forward a draft resolution for United Nations (UN) intervention.
The aim of the resolution is to call for pauses in fighting to allow humanitarian aid access, protect civilians, and stop the arming of Hamas and other militants in the Gaza Strip.
However, this push for action has been met with opposition from Russia and China, as they vetoed the resolution in a recent Security Council meeting.
The US Draft Resolution and Initial Shock
The United States introduced a draft resolution, shocking many diplomats with its bluntness in stating Israel’s right to defend itself and demanding Iran to halt the export of arms to militant groups.
However, the draft did not include a call for humanitarian pauses to ensure aid access. Despite criticisms, the US government listened to feedback and made amendments to the final text, toning down its content.
The double veto by Russia and China disappointed the US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
She acknowledged the setback but emphasized that it should not deter future efforts to address the conflict.
The move to suggest Security Council action is rare for the United States, which has traditionally shielded its ally, Israel, at the international body.
Lack of Support for the Draft Resolution
Ten members of the Security Council supported the US draft resolution, while the United Arab Emirates voted against it, and Brazil and Mozambique abstained.
China’s UN Ambassador, Zhang Jun, expressed that the draft did not reflect the world’s strongest calls for a ceasefire and an end to the fighting.
He stressed that a ceasefire is a matter of life and death for many innocent civilians.
Following the deadlock in the Security Council, a draft resolution will be presented to the 193-member UN General Assembly.
This draft resolution, put forward by Arab states, also calls for a ceasefire. Unlike the Security Council, the General Assembly does not grant veto power to any country.
Although resolutions in the General Assembly are non-binding, their adoption holds political weight.
Russia’s Accusation and Failed Attempts
Russia’s UN Ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, accused the United States of presenting a draft resolution that effectively authorized a ground offensive by Israel in Gaza.
He highlighted the devastating impact this would have on Palestinian children. After the double veto, a rival Russian-drafted text was put to a vote.
This text called for a humanitarian ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israel’s order for civilians in Gaza to relocate south. However, Russia could not garner enough support, receiving only four votes.
The 10 elected members of the Security Council now plan to work on a new draft resolution. This is a critical step in addressing the ever-growing risk of a regional spill over.
Malta’s UN Ambassador, Vanessa Frazier, stressed the duty and obligation to act in order to protect innocent lives.