New York, 26 October 2023 (TDI): The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) rejected both US-drafted and Russian drafted resolutions on Gaza, on October 25, over an insufficient number of votes by the members of the UNSC.

Firstly, the US-led draft resolution failed to be adopted due to the no votes by the permanent members of  UNSC, China and Russia.

For the US-drafted resolution, ten members of the UNSC voted in favor, and three against including China, Russia, and UAE, with two abstentions including Brazil and Mozambique.

The US-drafted resolution failed as a “no vote” from any one of the five permanent members of the Council (China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US) stops action on any measure put before it.

Secondly, the second Russian-led draft resolution failed to be adopted by the UNSC as it failed to secure a sufficient number of votes in favor.

The four Council members voted in favor including China, Gabon, Russia, and UAE, two against including the UK and US, and nine abstained including Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Switzerland).

The Russian-led resolution failed as for a resolution to be passed in the UNSC, a resolution must be supported by at least nine members of the Council.

Draft of the resolutions

Both US and Russian drafts of the resolution condemned the terror attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians on 7 October and urged action to address the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

The key difference in the text was that the US-led resolution mentioned that Israel holds the inherent right to self-defence, while the Russian-led resolution called for the immediate cancellation by Israeli forces of the evacuation order for northern Gazan civilians to head into southern Gaza.

Ambassadors on resolutions

The ambassadors of the US, Russia, the UK, China, UAE, and Israel to the UN also spoke to state their positions at the UNSC.

The Russian Ambassador, Vassily Nebenzya recalled that the earlier Russian proposal, a depoliticized resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire, was not unfortunately supported by most members of the Council, and since two weeks the UNSC had not been able to send a collective signal to deescalate the situation.

In speaking about not voting for a US-led resolution, he highlighted that he saw no point in supporting the US-led draft that served the geopolitical interests of one of the Security Council members.

While the US Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield highlighted that in drafting the US-led resolution, the US listened and engaged the humanitarian agencies, and the draft contains language on deconfliction mechanisms to protect civilians and UN personnel.

She added that however, Russia put forward a text with zero consultations and offered up yet another resolution in bad faith.

Also read: UNSC vetoes Russian Resolution on Gaza

She also stressed that the US-led resolution condemned the heinous attacks by Hamas, which confirms the right of Member States to self-defense and calls on parties to respect international humanitarian law.

Similarly, the UK Ambassador, Barbara Woodward stated that through the US proposal, the Council could have condemned Hamas’ terrorist attacks. At the same time, she added that Russia’s draft failed to recognize Israel’s right to self-defense.

On the other hand, Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Jun addressed that China had used their veto against the US resolution based on facts, law, conscience, and justice as the US text failed to mention the root causes of the current crisis in Gaza, without reference to Israel’s blockade or the evacuation order for civilians to move south that led China to support Russia text.