In an emergency meeting held on Friday at the UN Security Council to address the escalating crisis in Gaza, a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire was vetoed by the United States. The resolution, put forward by the United Arab Emirates and supported by over 90 member states, faced a 13-1 vote, with the United Kingdom choosing to abstain.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, utilizing one of his most potent tools, had earlier issued an urgent letter to the Security Council, emphasizing the need for a lasting humanitarian ceasefire to end the devastating situation in the war-battered enclave. At the commencement of the meeting, Guterres issued a stark warning, stating that “the conditions for the effective delivery of humanitarian aid no longer exist.”
Guterres urged the international community to take immediate action, emphasizing that “the eyes of the world – and the eyes of history – are watching.” He expressed the UN’s unwavering commitment to providing aid to the people of Gaza, despite the challenging circumstances.
The vetoed resolution acknowledged the Secretary-General’s invocation of Article 99, expressing grave concern over the “catastrophic situation” in Gaza and highlighting the imperative to protect Palestinian civilians. It called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, the unconditional release of hostages, and the facilitation of humanitarian access.
The outcome of this UN Security Council session adds further complexity to international efforts to address the ongoing crisis in Gaza, as the world continues to grapple with the human toll and humanitarian challenges in the region.