TAG: GS 2: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
THE CONTEXT: The U.N. Security Council has passed a revised resolution focusing on accelerating aid delivery to the starving and desperate civilians in Gaza.
- However, notably absent from the resolution was the initial call for an “urgent suspension of hostilities” between Israel and Hamas.
Vote and U.S. Role
- The vote, delayed for an extended period, resulted in a 13-0 approval with both the United States and Russia abstaining.
- Prior to this, the United States vetoed a Russian amendment aiming to reinstate the call for an immediate hostilities suspension.
- The resolution’s passage marked the avoidance of a second U.S. veto for a Gaza-focused resolution following Hamas’ unexpected attacks in Israel in October.
Reactions and Disagreements
- While the U.S. Ambassador expressed relief at the resolution’s adoption, Russia criticized the outcome, calling it “entirely toothless.”
- Russia accused the United States of employing unacceptable tactics to avoid a veto.
- The proposed Russian amendment sought to reinstate the call for a hostilities suspension, emphasizing concerns about Israel’s unimpeded military actions in Gaza.
- The final resolution, despite undergoing late modifications, emphasizes the urgent need for accelerated, unimpeded humanitarian access and creating conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.
- However, it lacks the specific provision urging an immediate suspension of hostilities.
- Notably, the resolution removed a previous request for exclusive U.N. monitoring of all humanitarian aid routes, replacing it with a directive for a senior humanitarian coordinator to oversee non-party relief deliveries.
Humanitarian Crisis and Concerns
- The situation in Gaza is dire, with a reported food crisis affecting the entire population of 2.2 million, with over 570,000 people at the “catastrophic” starvation level.
- The U.N. Secretary-General has highlighted the looming humanitarian catastrophe and warned of potential mass displacement into Egypt if the humanitarian support system collapses.
- The conflict has resulted in significant casualties, with thousands of Palestinians killed, though the number is contested.
- The recent Oct. 7 attack by Hamas inside Israel led to casualties and hostages taken back to Gaza, escalating tensions and complicating resolution efforts.
Resolution Legality and Global Response
- Security Council resolutions are legally binding, but adherence varies among involved parties.
- The resolution’s altered language and absence of specific directives on hostilities suspension might impact its effectiveness in mitigating the crisis.
- The adopted resolution, despite omitting the original call for immediate hostilities cessation, emphasizes the urgent need for humanitarian aid and coordination.
- The altered language, notably the absence of specific directives on hostilities suspension, highlights the challenges in reaching a comprehensive resolution to the ongoing crisis between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.