US vetoes UN Security Council resolution on Gaza

The United States on Wednesday vetoed a Security Council resolution that would have called for humanitarian pauses in Gaza.
US vetoes UN Security Council resolution on Gaza

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield votes against a Brazil-sponsored draft resolution during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the conflict between Israel and Hamas at UN headquarters in New York, US, on October 18, 2023.

The United States on Wednesday vetoed a Security Council resolution that would have called for humanitarian pauses in Gaza.

The Brazilian-drafted resolution won the support of 12 of the 15 members of the Security Council. The United States, which has veto power, was the only council member that voted against it.

Britain and Russia abstained.

Before voting on the Brazilian draft, the Security Council voted separately on two amendments to the Brazilian draft submitted by Russia.

The Russian amendments — on a call for an end to indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian subjects, and a call for a durable humanitarian cease-fire, instead of humanitarian pauses contained in the Brazilian text — were unable to pass as there was not enough support by council members.

The United States was the only council member that voted against the Russian amendments.

US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, in an explanation of vote, said her country "is disappointed this (draft) resolution made no mention of Israel's right of self-defense."

French UN ambassador Nicolas de Riviere told reporters after the vote that his country does not see any contradiction between supporting Israel after Hamas' attack and protecting civilians, granting humanitarian access, calling for full respect for international humanitarian law and Geneva Conventions, which were basically the Brazilian draft all about.

Russian UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia blasted the United States for its "hypocrisy and double standards."

Brazilian UN ambassador Sergio Franca Danese regretted the fact that his country's draft resolution was vetoed.

"Sadly, very sadly, silence and inaction prevailed - to no one's long-term interests," he said. "While we deeply regret collective action is made impossible in the Security Council, we do hope that efforts by other actors will yield positive results. Hundreds of thousands of civilians in Gaza cannot wait any longer. Actually, they have waited for far too long."

Chinese UN ambassador Zhang Jun said his country was shocked and disappointed at the result of Wednesday's voting.

Certain countries voted on Monday against a Russian-drafted resolution, which would have called for a humanitarian cease-fire. Those countries said they wanted more time to seek consensus on the basis of the Brazilian-drafted resolution. Brazil and many other council members showed a constructive attitude and agreed to postpone the voting for 24 hours, and again till Wednesday. In the past 40 hours, those countries have neither commented on nor expressed opposition to the Brazilian draft, making people believe that the council would be able to adopt a resolution on Wednesday. The final result is unbelievable, he said.

"Certain countries talked about the importance for the council to take the right actions. However, the way they voted only makes us question their willingness to let the council take any actions and their sincerity to find a solution to the problem," said Zhang.

The Security Council on Monday failed to adopt the Russian-drafted resolution. The draft resolution failed to win enough votes in favor for adoption. The United States, together with Britain, France and Japan, voted against it.

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