U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, used the “veto power” seemingly to encourage the war to continue
Last Wednesday, according to The Intercept, a proposed U.N. resolution received a lone “no” vote, cast by the United States. Brazil authored a Security Council resolution that called for “humanitarian pauses” in the bombing of Gaza by Israel. Twelve nations, including some unexpected ones like France and the United Arab Emirates, supported the resolution. Russia and the U.K. were the other two to abstain. The proposal was defeated, however, as a result of America’s lone “no” vote in the Security Council, under Security Council regulations.
Any item that is submitted before the Council is halted if one of its five permanent members votes “no.” China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States are the organization’s permanent members.
As written by the United Nations Press Releases, if passed, the resolution would have vehemently opposed and denounced the terrorist assaults carried out by Hamas in Israel beginning on October 7, as well as any acts of violence and hostility against people. In accordance with international humanitarian law, it would have demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all captives as well as the safety of all medical and humanitarian professionals, as well as hospitals and medical institutions.
From U.N. News, it was stated that prior to the vote, the Security Council rejected two amendments authored by Russia that demanded an immediate, comprehensive, and sustainable ceasefire as well as a halt to strikes on civilians.
Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian Ambassador, addressed the council saying, “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. The current draft has no clear call for a ceasefire and will not help to stop the bloodshed”. Russia highlights the “hypocrisy and double standards” of United States even before that vote.
While acknowledging Brazil’s intention to forward the draft resolution, United States Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the Council should allow her nation’s difficult diplomatic efforts to “play out” in light of President Joseph R. Biden’s current visit to the area. She expressed displeasure that Israel’s right to self-defense was not mentioned in the draft and said that even if Washington, D.C. was unable to endorse the wording, but it will continue to work on the problem. “When I talk about the protection of civilians, I mean all civilians,” she continued.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy previously made speeches regarding the injustice of the veto power, which Russia has used on four occasions regarding Ukraine. Some of his statements were:
“We are dealing with a state that is turning the veto in the U.N. Security Council into the right to die. This undermines the whole architecture of global security. It allows them to go unpunished, so that they’re destroying everything that they can. So, if this continues, the countries will rely only on the power of their own arms to ensure their security and not on international law, not rely on international institutions. The United Nations can be simply closed. … The U.N. system must be reformed immediately so that the veto is not the right to die, that there is a fair representation in the Security Council of all regions of the world.”
In an official statement regarding the resolution, Brazil’s representative, Sérgio França Danese, shared sympathies for the council’s decision on the resolution. Sérgio said, “Sadly, very sadly, the Council was yet again unable to adopt a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Again, silence and inaction prevailed, to no one’s true, long-term interest.”
Even U.S. allies voiced their concerns regarding the decision to veto this resolution. In an interview with The National, Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE’s UN ambassador, said, “No UNSC resolution is perfect, but given the gravity of the situation on the ground, the UAE believes this was a good-faith effort to focus on the key priorities, and that’s why the vote reflected the high number of 12 countries in favor.”
France and Japan, which are allies of the US, broke with them during voting by supporting the draft. o
Speaking to The National, France’s ambassador to the UN, Nicolas De Riviere, shared his disappointment over the Security Council’s choice to be silent in addressing the rising crisis in the Middle East.
Riviera said, “There is no contradiction in supporting the right of Israel to defend itself and calling for the full respect of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions. It is crucial for the Security Council to express itself very clearly on these two aspects.”
Mr. De Riviere stressed that despite a “deteriorating situation” on the ground, the Council lost an important chance to perform its responsibility. He said that the international organization in charge of preserving world peace and security “cannot remain silent.” He added, “We have a moral responsibility to act. It is a humanitarian issue but also a political one.”