Intensive diplomatic efforts are unfolding at the United Nations ahead of a crucial vote on a resolution aimed at halting hostilities in Gaza.
This initiative is critical for facilitating the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid, per diplomatic sources.
UN session on UAE’s Gaza ceasefire draft aiming for U.S. approval
The focus of the United Nations Security Council’s upcoming session on Tuesday is a draft resolution by the United Arab Emirates.
Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh of the UAE to the United Nations emphasized the resolution’s intent to pause hostilities in Gaza, allowing for crucial humanitarian support.
The vote, initially set for Monday, has been postponed to Tuesday to provide additional time for discussions.
A vital aspect of these talks is framing the resolution’s language in a manner that secures either a supportive vote or at least an abstention from the United States, which could pave the way for its approval.
Language tweaks in resolution for broader acceptance
Diplomats are hopeful that altering the wording from a “cessation of hostilities” to a “suspension of hostilities” might win the backing of the United States.
The importance of the US’s stance cannot be understated, as it has previously vetoed similar measures at the UN Security Council and opposed a ceasefire call in the UN General Assembly.
An affirmative vote or abstention from the US could be interpreted as a significant message to Israel, especially from its principal ally, regarding the escalating international concern over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
US Diplomat Wood’s stance and concerns over violence
A senior US diplomat, Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood, addressed the Security Council without indicating how the US plans to vote on the resolution.
Wood condemned the October 7 attacks by Hamas as atrocities but stressed the protection of civilians and journalists and the urgency of delivering humanitarian aid.
He also voiced concern about increasing settler violence in the West Bank and called on the Israeli government to investigate and hold accountable those responsible.
Previous U.S. veto and current resolution’s prospects
The US, as one of the five permanent UNSC members, has previously vetoed a resolution including the term “ceasefire” due to the lack of mention of the Hamas attacks on October 7.
The current resolution spearheaded by Nusseibeh, representing the 22-member Arab group as a non-permanent UNSC member, seeks to address the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Nusseibeh highlighted the “critical” need to halt hostilities and facilitate aid, describing the crisis in Gaza as “catastrophic.”
Nusseibeh’s commitment to humanitarian aid delivery
Nusseibeh elaborated on the resolution’s objectives, focusing on opening border crossings and establishing a UN-led mechanism to inspect, monitor, and approve aid.
She emphasized the resolution’s primary goal of stopping hostilities to ensure aid delivery, noting the ongoing negotiations with Council members, including the US.
General Assembly’s ceasefire demand, Security Council’s role
In contrast to the Security Council’s deliberations, the UN General Assembly recently voted to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, showcasing a rebuff to the US’s stance in the Security Council.
Although the General Assembly’s decision carries moral significance, it lacks the binding power of a Security Council resolution.