June 20, 2024

US vetoes UN Security Council resolution calling for “humanitarian pause” in Gaza

3 min read
US vetoes UN Security Council resolution calling for “humanitarian pause” in Gaza

UN Security Council resolution introduced by Brazil calling ceasefire in Gaza hit snag after the US voted against

UN Security Council resolution introduced by Brazil calling ceasefire in Gaza hit snag after the US voted against.

The United States on Wednesday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution introduced by Brazil that called for a “humanitarian pause” in the fighting in Gaza and condemned attacks on civilians by all sides.

The resolution, which avoided calling for a ceasefire precisely to win US support, was supported by twelve Council members (including China and France), while Russia and the UK abstained and only the US voted against, preventing the resolution from being adopted due to its veto power.

This is the second failed attempt by the Security Council to take joint action to stop the fighting in Gaza, after Russia introduced another resolution on Monday calling for an immediate ceasefire, which was vetoed by the US, UK and France because it did not specifically mention Hamas.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield explained why she vetoed the Brazilian resolution: “The United States is disappointed this resolution made no mention of Israel’s right of self-defense. 

Like every nation in the world, Israel has the inherent right of self-defense.”

In addition, the Ambassador advocated for “letting that diplomacy play out” referring to steps that President Biden and UN Secretary General António Guterres can take.

“Yes, this Council must speak out. But the actions we take must be informed by the facts on the ground,” she argued.

Brazil’s resolution had been scheduled for Monday, but the United States asked for more time to introduce amendments.

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Even Russia, which had warned that it would vote against the resolution unless it included a call for an immediate cease-fire and an end to all attacks on civilians, ultimately opted to abstain in order to move forward with a minimal resolution, only to face a US veto.

China’s usually cautious representative, Zhang Jun, was unusually angry today at the Council’s inability to take action to stop the war: “Our reaction is one of surprise and disgust,” he said.

Zhang accused the United States of having led Council members to believe that the resolution could be adopted by failing to oppose during the negotiations.

“Some countries,” Zhang said, without mentioning the US, “say that the Council should act, but the way they voted makes us doubt their willingness to act and their intention to find a solution to the problem.”

He also used his turn to speak to say he blamed Israel for bombing the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday: “China strongly condemns the bombing of the hospital and we demand that Israel abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law,” he said. 

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