On Oct. 18, the UN Security Council resolution, which would have called for a ceasefire and allowed for aid to reach millions of civilians in the Gaza Strip, was vetoed by the US because there “has been [concern] that any pause would enable Hamas to regroup,” said Derick Hulme, Arthur L. Russell Professor of Political Science.
Additionally, this resolution was vetoed because it “‘did not mention Israel’s right of self-defense,’” said US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, quoted in UN News.
Furthermore, “She said that though the US could not support the resolution, it will continue to work closely with all Council members on the crisis,” said UN News.
According to UN News, if any one of the five permanent Council members (China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States) votes no on a resolution, this stops any action from being taken on the given resolution.
The United States was not the only country that did not vote in favor of the resolution – Russia and the United Kingdom abstained from the vote, citing similar reasoning as the US in that they believed Israel has an inherent right for self-defense against the extremist group Hamas.
Specifically, the UK supports “Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas, rescue hostages and strengthen its security in the long term, while calling on Israel ‘to take all feasible precautions’ to avoid harming Palestinian civilians,” said UN News.
When watching a situation such as this unfold, it can be hard to know where one should stand. “The situation is devastating no matter which way you look at it, and I think it can be made more difficult by the fact that many people may have friends or relatives showing support for either side or both, so it’s difficult to navigate those conversations,” said Elizabeth Vredevelt (’24).
If one doesn’t have a lot of knowledge of the inner workings of the United Nations, it can be hard to discern why some countries make the decisions they make. But it can be hard even if you are privy to the types of things that happen within the UN.
“Being in Model UN is a blessing and a curse when it comes to understanding global politics and the workings of the United Nations. On one hand, you have a much clearer understanding of global systems and can understand the power and role of the United Nations General Assembly, Security Council and other relevant bodies, but you also realize their limitations,” said Vredevelt.
Additionally, “Because the US is one of those countries with veto power and has taken such a strong stance in support of Israel, it is unlikely we will see any real action taken soon from the UN Security Council,” said Vredevelt.
While one sits and watches the news of the Israel-Gaza crisis unfold halfway across the world, it can be very easy to stay detached from the whole situation. However, now more than ever, one must continue to be educated on these devastating events if we are to do better in the future.
“Even though it feels like we are powerless watching the events of this past month unfold, at least the world is watching. Right now, our most valuable contribution to this crisis is our attention,” said Vredevelt.
“Sadly, there are many global conflicts, famines, genocides and crises taking place all over the world right now and few receive media attention or are cared about by the public in America. This is a point in history where we have to pay attention and care,” said Vredevelt.
“Hopefully, the intense fighting will cease as quickly as possible, with post-war efforts directed toward creating a durable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict premised on a two-state solution in which a state of Palestine will live in peace with Israel,” said Hulme.