UN Security Council rejects Brazil’s proposal on conflict

The dissenting vote by the US scuppered the resolution

Published on 18/10/2023 - 15:38 By Paula Laboissière* - Brasília

The United Nations (UN) Security Council on Wednesday (Oct. 18) rejected the proposal put forward by the Brazilian government regarding the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian extremist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. The text called for humanitarian pauses in the attacks between Israel and Hamas in a bid to allow aid access to the Gaza Strip.

The result of the vote was 12 votes in favor, two abstentions (one from Russia), and one dissenting vote from the US. As a permanent member, the US vote resulted in the rejection of the Brazilian initiative.

The resolution was originally scheduled to be examined early this week at the organization’s headquarters in New York. However, it was later on postponed until Wednesday.

After the vote, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield pointed out that US President Joe Biden is currently in the region of the conflict, which she said demonstrates the country’s involvement in the issue. “Even though we recognize the Brazilian government’s desire to approve the proposal, we need that diplomacy to play out.”

“Yes, resolutions are important. And yes, this council must speak out. But the actions we take must be informed by the facts on the ground and support direct diplomacy efforts. That can save lives,” she said. “The United States is disappointed this resolution made no mention of Israel’s right of self-defense. Like every nation in the world, Israel has the inherent right of self-defense.”

On Monday (16), council members rejected a Russian draft resolution on the conflict. The nation presented a plan for an immediate ceasefire, including the opening of humanitarian corridors and the safe release of hostages, but did not directly condemn Hamas for the acts of violence committed against Israel. The project received five votes in favor, four against, and six abstentions.

An end to hostilities

In Brasília, Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira explained that Brazil, as president of the Security Council, was asked by the majority of council members to devise a proposal that would accommodate the opinions of all members.

“After intense and multiple consultations, we presented a text that was accepted by 12 of the 15 members. This text basically focused on the cessation of hostilities and on the humanitarian aspect, creating a humanitarian passage so that third-country nationals could leave, including our 32 Brazilians, plus the possibility of sending humanitarian aid. Unfortunately, it could not be approved. There was a clear division of opinion,” he reported.

The UN Security Council

The UN Security Council has five permanent members: China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US. The rotating council includes Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. For a resolution to be approved, it needs the support of nine of the total 15 members, and none of the permanent members can veto the text.

*Lucas Pordeus León contributed to this article.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fernando Fraga

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