Nebenzya Hopes UN Security Council Will Call for Gaza Ceasefire After GA

13 December 2023

The Russian Federation is hopeful that, following the General Assembly, the UN Security Council will be able to call for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, Vasily Nebenzya, the Russian Permanent Representative to the UN, said on Tuesday.


"We hope that following the General Assembly, the Security Council will finally fulfill its obligations. Representatives of the United Arab Emirates have prepared and submitted another project to increase and monitor the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza for consideration," he said at a meeting of the UN General Assembly's special emergency session on the protection of the Palestinian people.


"In fact, we are witnessing a plan being realized before our eyes: to bomb the Gaza Strip into the Stone Age," Nebenzya added. "I must note with bitterness that, in all this time, the collective efforts of the UN have not led to the desired result. But the reason is not because multilateral diplomacy is stalling, and it is not because of the Security Council's inability to fulfill its purpose, as some people say," the diplomat noted.


On Washington's interference


"Obstructing all peacekeeping efforts is the United States. Right from the start, the United States has unequivocally rejected multilateral diplomacy. American representatives have stated that as long as Washington is engaged in bilateral quiet diplomacy on the ground, no one should interfere, so as not to disrupt it. This is the primary reason why the UN Security Council has failed to take any decisive action all this time. Despite a number of its members proposing draft solutions, negotiating in good faith almost around the clock, the Security Council has been stymied. The UAE, Russia, and China consistently call for Security Council meetings to discuss the situation in Gaza, a step our Western colleagues have never taken," Nebenzya said.

The permanent representative emphasized that Russia had initially proposed the first draft UN Security Council resolution, including a provision for an immediate ceasefire in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone on October 16. However, this proposal lacked support from Western delegations, and the Brazilian draft was vetoed by the United States. "Since then, numerous tragic events have unfolded, exposing the ineffectiveness of our discussions from the outset—a clear demand for the parties to cease hostilities and violence. It should be demands, not requests, as befits the Security Council," the diplomat underscored.


"The UN Security Council approached such a decision on December 8, with over 100 co-sponsors supporting a draft that included a ceasefire provision formulated by the Arab group of states and introduced on behalf of the UAE. The text encompassed all the elements requested by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his unprecedented appeal to the Security Council," Nebenzya highlighted, stressing that, even at that point, the U.S. stance hindered the resolution from being adopted.


"The US once again, favoring its primary Middle East ally, vetoed the Security Council's decision. The consequence of such actions is the ongoing horrific bloodshed, resulting in new thousands of casualties and catastrophic destruction. While ostensibly advocating for a ceasefire, the American side has, in effect, issued a license to kill and now bears full responsibility for each new victim in the Gaza conflict," the diplomat added.


"It is not for the rest of the Security Council and the UN membership in general to share this blame," the diplomat said.

On the veto


On December 8, the United States exercised its veto power in the UN Security Council, blocking a draft humanitarian resolution presented by the UAE. The resolution called for an immediate ceasefire in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone. Despite receiving support from 13 out of 15 Security Council members, including Russia and China, the resolution was vetoed by the US The UK abstained from voting.


Robert Wood, the US deputy permanent representative to the UN, justified the veto, stating that the resolution was deemed "divorced from reality." The US also expressed dissatisfaction with the absence of condemnation for the Palestinian Hamas movement and the omission of an affirmation of Israel's right to self-defense.


Dmitry Polyansky, Russia's first deputy permanent representative to the UN, highlighted that the Security Council's inability to demand a ceasefire for two months is primarily attributed to Washington's position. According to Polyansky, the US stance, aimed at supporting its ally, effectively prevents the Security Council from intervening.


About the resolution


On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted in favor of a resolution presented by Egypt and Mauritania, calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone. The resolution garnered support from 153 states, including Russia, Brazil, Iran, Canada, China, Cuba, Spain, France, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, and others. Ten countries, including Austria, Israel, the Czech Republic, and the United States, voted against it, while 23 nations, including the UK, Germany, and Ukraine, abstained from voting.


The draft resolution, submitted by Egypt and Mauritania during the 10th special emergency session of the UNGA, essentially mirrors the text of a proposal put forth by the UAE in the Security Council last week. The Security Council resolution faced rejection due to a US veto. Several dozen states, including Russia, Belarus, China, Malta, and Portugal, co-sponsored the UNGA resolution. The document calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the release of all hostages. It also emphasizes the imperative for all parties involved in the conflict to adhere to international humanitarian law.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Zuma\TASS

Based on materials from TASS