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UPDATING LIVE: Israel-Gaza crisis; US vetoes Security Council resolution

BySandeep Patel

Oct 18, 2023


While 12 of the Council’s 15 members voted in favour of the Brazilian-led text, one (United States) voted against, and two (Russia, and the United Kingdom) abstained.

A ‘no’ vote from any one of the five permanent members of the Council stops action on any measure put before it. The body’s permanent members are China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Russian amendments

Prior to the vote, two amendments proposed by Russia, calling for an immediate, durable and full ceasefire, and to stop attacks against civilians were rejected by the Security Council.

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said “the time for diplomatic metaphors is long gone.” Anyone who did not support Russia’s draft resolution on this issue bears responsibility for what happens, he said. The current draft “has no clear call for a ceasefire” and “will not help to stop the bloodshed”.

He said Russia’s amendments proposed a call to end indiscriminate attacks on civilians and infrastructure in Gaza and the condemnation of the imposition of the blockade on the enclave; and adding a new point for a call for a humanitarian ceasefire.

“If these are not included in the current draft, it would not help to address the human situation in Gaza and polarize positions of the international community,” he said.

US rejection

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield explained her country’s veto in the Council chamber saying “this resolution did not mention Israel’s right of self-defence.”

“Israel has the inherent sight of self-defence as reflected in Article 51 of the UN Charter,” she added, noting that the right was reaffirmed by the Council in previous resolutions on terrorist attacks, “this resolution should have done the same.”

She said that though the US could not support the resolution, it will continue to work closely with all Council members on the crisis, “just as we will continue to reiterate the need to protect civilians, including members of the media, humanitarian workers, and UN officials.”

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also noted the US is also engaged in on the ground diplomacy, with the visit of President Joseph Biden, and other senior officials.

“Yes, resolutions are important, and yes, this Council must speak out. But the actions we take, must be informed by the facts on the ground and support direct diplomacy that can save lives,” she said. 


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