The United Nations Security Council found itself at an impasse this week, unable to pass two competing resolutions aimed at addressing the escalating conflict in the Middle East. The United States and Russia, two of the council’s permanent members, proposed separate resolutions, both of which failed to secure enough support for adoption.
The United States put forth a resolution that called for “humanitarian pauses” to allow the delivery of desperately needed aid to Gaza. The resolution also reaffirmed Israel’s right to self-defence and urged respect for international laws, particularly those concerning the protection of civilians. Despite receiving 10 votes in favour, the resolution was vetoed by Russia and China, effectively blocking its adoption.
Conversely, Russia’s resolution called for an immediate “humanitarian ceasefire” and unequivocally condemned recent Hamas attacks in Israel, as well as “indiscriminate attacks” on civilians and civilian objects in Gaza. The Russian proposal garnered four votes in favour, two against, and nine abstentions, falling short of the minimum nine “yes” votes required for passage.
US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, accused Russia of acting “in bad faith” by submitting its draft without prior consultations, PBS reported. In response, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia labelled the US draft as a “politicized” proposal designed to shore up Israel.
The failure to pass either resolution has left the Security Council divided and paralyzed, raising questions about its effectiveness in maintaining international peace and security. Malta’s UN Ambassador Vanessa Frazier suggested that if both resolutions failed, she would attempt to draft a compromise.
The deadlock highlights the complexities and challenges that the international community faces in reaching a consensus on the Middle East conflict. It also underscores the deep divisions among Security Council members, which further complicates efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution.