The United Nations Security Council on Monday, October 16, 2023, rejected a resolution by Russia calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas as the motion draft did not get the minimum number of votes to be passed. The delegates also refused to back the motion as it did not single out Hamas for its unprecedented attack on Israel.
The resolution by Russia :
A resolution had been proposed by Russia which called for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The draft led by Russia received five votes in its favor. The countries supporting the draft included Gabon, China, Mozambique, United Arab Emirates and Russia itself.
Four nations voted against the draft resolution by Russia. The nations against the draft led by Russia included the United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan and France.
The United States of America, United Kingdom and France also voted against the resolution over its inability and failure to condemn Hamas for its assault on Israel.
A total number of six nations – Brazil, Ecuador, Albania, Malta, Ghana and Switzerland – decided to abstain from voting on the resolution.
It must also be noted that the resolution would have needed at least nine votes in its favour in order to proceed further.
The UN representatives on the Russian resolution :
Linda Thomas – Greenfield, the US Ambassador to the UN, stated that the US could not support the Russian resolution as the draft ignored the attack by Hamas on Israel and that it also dishonoured the victims. The US Ambassador also stated that by failing to condemn Hamas, Russia is providing a “cover to a terrorist group that brutalises innocent civilians.” It is “outrageous, hypocritical and indefensible”, she further added.
The US Ambassador also condemned Hamas for taking hostages, killing civilians and slaughtering families, including US citizens. The US Envoy further added that the people of Gaza are suffering with dire humanitarian crises because of the actions of Hamas.
Barbara Woodward, the United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, stated that she voted against the draft as she could not support a resolution that fails to condemn Hamas terror attacks. Woodward claimed that it was “unconscionable” for the UN Security Council to ignore the largest terror attack on Israel in the country’s history.
Nicolas De Riviere, France’s Permanent Representative to the UN, condemned the attack by Hamas on Israel and stated that France voted against the resolution because the draft lacked “several essential elements”.
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, stated that the UNSC is facing one of the most “pivotal moments” in its history, a “moment of truth” and a “turning point” that demonstrates whether the Security Council holds legitimacy and whether the United Nations has a “moral compass”.
Erdan also called on the Security Council to designate Hamas as a terror organisation and to hold it fully accountable and responsible for what’s happening in Gaza and to also uphold Israel’s right to defend itself.
Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, expressed regret over the UN Security Council’s refusal to adopt the resolution draft and also blamed and criticized the “selfish intention of the western bloc”. He added that the Western nations have barred the Security Council from sending a unified message for “purely selfish and political interests”.