UN Security Council to vote on revised Gaza resolution today

Gaza war

NEW YORK: In a pivotal development, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is poised to convene in New York today to cast their votes on an updated resolution addressing the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

After an intensive week of behind-the-scenes negotiations, representatives from the 15-member Security Council extended their discussions into the late hours of Thursday, centering their deliberations on a draft resolution introduced by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The proposed resolution underscores the immediate necessity for measures to guarantee the safe and unimpeded delivery of aid to civilians in the Gaza Strip. Noteworthy is the unequivocal support expressed by the United States for the most recent draft, contingent upon the preservation of the text’s integrity.

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Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US representative, emerged from a closed-door meeting on Thursday evening to brief reporters, stating, “We have toiled assiduously over the past week with the Emiratis, among others, including Egypt, to formulate a resolution that garners our support. We have achieved that resolution, and we are poised to cast our votes.”

Thomas-Greenfield underscored the resolution’s alignment with Egypt’s priority of establishing a mechanism to bolster humanitarian assistance.

To allow UN missions to confer with their respective capitals, a decision was reached to postpone the vote until Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, John Kirby, the spokesperson for the US National Security Council, disclosed that President Joe Biden had engaged in extensive discussions with his national security team and officials representing the US and the UN on the resolution.

This diplomatic undertaking comes on the heels of the US veto of the preceding draft on December 8, triggering prompt action in the UN General Assembly merely four days later. During that assembly, member states resoundingly endorsed an immediate humanitarian ceasefire through a non-binding resolution.

A focal point of contention in preceding sessions has been the US insistence that any resolution must condemn the attacks by Hamas on October 7, which ignited the escalation in the Palestine-Israel conflict.

In response, some nations critical of Israel’s offensive in Gaza have contended that a resolution condemning Hamas should equally denounce the Israeli occupation and the civilian casualties resulting from Israel’s military actions.

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Another stumbling block for diplomats engaged in negotiating the draft resolution has been the establishment of a UN monitoring mechanism tasked with autonomously assessing the efficacy of aid delivery, detached from influence by both Israeli and Hamas authorities in Gaza.

The revised draft resolution, currently circulating within the Security Council, remains a dynamic document. Key components include Operative Paragraph (OP) 2, urging “urgent steps to immediately allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access” and establishing conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.

The resolution calls upon the UN secretary-general to designate a senior humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator tasked with facilitating, coordinating, monitoring, and verifying humanitarian relief shipments in Gaza.

Furthermore, the resolution mandates that the coordinator possesses the requisite personnel and equipment in Gaza, operating under UN auspices. This move aims to expedite the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the civilian populace in the Gaza Strip.

As the Security Council readies for this consequential vote, the international community remains fractured on critical issues, mirroring the intricate geopolitical landscape surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Navigating the delicate equilibrium of condemning specific actions while addressing broader concerns has proven intricate in prior sessions, resulting in stalemates and notably, the US veto in December.

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The call for a UN monitoring mechanism underscores the imperative for impartial evaluation and oversight in a region where conflicting narratives often obscure the humanitarian situation. Achieving the right equilibrium in the resolution is imperative for securing widespread support and ensuring the efficacious delivery of aid.

As the global audience observes, the Security Council confronts the formidable task of bridging gaps, discovering common ground, and delivering a diplomatic resolution to the pressing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The outcome of Friday’s vote will not only determine the immediate response to the conflict but will also establish the precedent for future diplomatic endeavors in this volatile region.

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