UN Security Council struggling to speak with one voice on Gaza

It’s hard for the UN Security Council to talk with one voice about Gaza.

  • A vote is coming up on Tuesday (Dec. 19) on a new measure calling for an end to the fighting in Gaza. The UN Security Council is having a hard time speaking with one voice.
  • Ten days after the US veto, there may be a vote soon if talks break the deadlock.
  • The US blocked the adoption of a resolution calling for a “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip on December 8, even though UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres put a lot of pressure on them to do so. This is because Israel is still attacking the Gaza Strip with deadly missiles in response to Hamas’s unprecedented attack on October 7.
  • The same nonbinding motion was passed by the General Assembly last week by 153 votes to 10, with 23 abstentions. The Assembly has 193 member states.
  • Because of this huge support, Arab countries have said they will try again at the Security Council, but the result is still unknown.
  • AFP got a copy of a draft text written by the United Arab Emirates on Sunday. It called for “an urgent and lasting cessation of hostilities to allow unimpeded access of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.”
  • But foreign sources say that a new text that has been changed is now on the table as an effort to reach a compromise.
  • “Means that there are negotiations over the text – most probably to avoid another or several vetoes,” Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnes Callamard wrote on X. The vote has been pushed back to Tuesday.
  • “Every hour, every day that passes – civilians in Gaza are dying.”
  • The Security Council is also discussing the terms of a monitoring system for humanitarian help entering Gaza.
  • In a letter sent on Monday to the president of the Security Council, seen by AFP, Antonio Guterres notes three options for implementing the Nov 15 resolution asking for humanitarian “pauses” of a few days to allow aid into the Palestinian territory.
  • Noting that “the conditions for the effective delivery of humanitarian aid no longer exist,” the secretary general’s first option is to reinforce the presence of UN humanitarian troops on the ground to allow a “more robust United Nations presence on the ground.”

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