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US-Led “Ceasefire” Resolution Fails, Condemned for Not Demanding Real Ceasefire

The UN resolution didn’t demand a ceasefire, but rather called it “imperative” that one eventually come about.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield is seen on a screen as she speaks during a UN Security Council meeting at the United Nations headquarters on March 22, 2024, in New York City.

A U.S.-led resolution promoting a nominal ceasefire action in Gaza was defeated by a United Nations Security Council vote on Friday morning, with those opposed to the resolution noting that the measure didn’t go far enough.

Although most member nations supported the proposal, three of the countries on the Security Council opposed it. Votes from Russia and China, which have veto powers on the council, led to its automatic defeat. Algeria also voted against the resolution, and Guyana abstained from voting.

Russia condemned the resolution for being both too little and too late, with that nation’s ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, describing the measure as “not enough” and noting that it failed to demand an actual, lasting ceasefire. Nebenzia further described the vote as a ploy to “throw [U.S. voters in support of a ceasefire] a bone” with a false ceasefire call.

Guyana Ambassador Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett also explained why her nation could not in good conscience support the measure.

“Guyana could not support a resolution that does not unequivocally call for an immediate ceasefire,” Rodrigues-Birkett said in a speech to the council.

Indeed, Rodrigues-Birkett pointed out that the resolution put more emphasis on Hamas’s actions than Israel’s, with the latter only being mentioned once in the entire resolution.

“If one were to read this resolution without background knowledge, it would be difficult to ascertain which party in this conflict is committing the atrocities in Gaza which necessitated this draft resolution being put forward,” she added.

Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel killed around 1,200 Israelis and ended with more than 200 taken hostage. In response, Israel launched a genocidal bombing and starvation campaign against Gaza, killing more than 32,000 Palestinians, over 4 in 10 of whom were children. Tens of thousands more have been injured or are currently missing — presumed to be dead under the rubble — and millions of Palestinians have been displaced.

“Two wrongs cannot make a right,” Rodrigues-Birkett added in her statement, “and the Palestinian people should not be collectively punished and themselves held hostage for the crimes of others.”

Analysis of the resolution shows that the critics’ concerns are legitimate. According to Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor James Bays’s examination of the text, the resolution states that the U.N. Security Council “determines the imperative of an immediate and sustained ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides, allow for the delivery of essential humanitarian assistance, and alleviate humanitarian suffering.”

The use of the word “imperative” makes it seem that “it is important that there is a ceasefire” rather than “demanding one now,” Bays noted, adding:

It’s certainly the strongest language yet [from the U.S. at the U.N.], but is it what the rest of the Security Council wants in terms of a demand for an immediate ceasefire? Or is it just a resolution where the Security Council would say an immediate ceasefire is something that’s very important?

Notably, the U.S. has vetoed three UN resolutions calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza since Israel launched its genocidal siege in October.

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