UNSC passes resolution on Gaza aid as US abstains

World Saturday 23/December/2023 08:23 AM
UNSC passes resolution on Gaza aid as US abstains

New York City: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday approved a resolution that calls for humanitarian pauses between Israel and Hamas, increased aid to Gaza and the creation of conditions that will allow for a sustainable end to fighting, ending days of closed-door negotiations, CNN reported.

The UNSC resolution calls for "urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days to enable full, rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access."

The United States and Russia abstained from the vote, deciding against using their vetoes as permanent members of the body that would have shot down the resolution.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield praised the resolution but abstained from voting in favour of it after the text failed to include a condemnation of Hamas.

A senior US diplomat told CNN: "We would love to see condemnation of Hamas. We don't understand why the council can't just explain exactly how we got to where we are. But at the end of the day, that's what diplomacy is all about."

As per CNN, throughout what the diplomat called "marathon negotiations," the US was eager to not vote against the resolution after suffering global blowback for vetoing the last Security Council resolution that called for an immediate ceasefire.

In the resolution on Friday, the language called for "urgent steps" to lay the groundwork "for a sustainable cessation of hostilities."

"At the end of the day, creating conditions for sustainable cessation of hostilities is something that everybody's looking to do," the diplomat said. "And I think the big dispute over the last few weeks has really been: 'Is the time right, right now, for a cessation of hostilities? Or do the conditions need to be right?' We were comfortable with this idea of the conditions needing to be right for that."

Sources had previously told CNN that a major sticking point over the draft was a call for the UN to "establish a monitoring mechanism in the Gaza Strip with the necessary personnel and equipment, under the authority of the United Nations Secretary-General."

The US had argued that the proposal of a UN-created monitoring mechanism for aid going into the Gaza Strip would be cumbersome and slow down the delivery of critical assistance.