Why Did the US, UK, and Russia Abstain from UN's Gaza Resolution?

In a notable development amidst ongoing hostilities, the United Nations Security Council has unanimously passed a resolution aimed at facilitating humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Why Did the US, UK, and Russia Abstain from UN's Gaza Resolution?
© Getty Images News/Andrew Burton

In a notable development amidst ongoing hostilities, the United Nations Security Council has unanimously passed a resolution aimed at facilitating humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip. This move, seen as a critical step towards alleviating the humanitarian crisis in the region, garnered widespread support, although it also highlighted the complex geopolitical landscape.

The Resolution: A Call for Humanitarian Access

During Wednesday's session, twelve states voted in favor of the resolution, which calls for "urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip." This measure seeks to ensure "full, rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access for United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners," consistent with international humanitarian law.

The resolution reflects the growing global concern over the humanitarian situation in Gaza, which has deteriorated amid continued conflict. By establishing humanitarian corridors, the UN aims to provide vital assistance to the affected population, including food, medical supplies, and other essential services.

Mixed Reactions and Geopolitical Implications

The decision was not without its complexities. Three countries — the US, Russia, and the UK — abstained from the vote. This abstention underscores the delicate diplomatic balances and varying national interests at play within the Security Council.

Human Rights Watch, a leading nongovernmental organization, lauded the adoption of the resolution. Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement, “The UN Security Council just sent a rare and powerful message to Israel, Hamas and other armed groups that compliance with international humanitarian law is non-negotiable”.

Charbonneau also highlighted the significance of the US's decision not to veto the resolution, pointing out that this could serve as a wake-up call to Israeli authorities about the strong global concern regarding the situation in Gaza, even among its traditional allies.

The resolution's adoption marks a critical moment for the international community's engagement with the ongoing crisis in Gaza. It represents a concerted effort to prioritize humanitarian needs and underscores the imperative of respecting international humanitarian law.

The coming days will be crucial in determining the effectiveness of these humanitarian pauses and the broader impact on the region's stability and the lives of its people.

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