After stalemates, UN Security Council approves civilian-focused resolution

A short and objective resolution, which does not impose great demands on countries: this is how diplomacy evaluates the text proposed by Malta and approved by the Security Council this Wednesday (15), which obtained the support of twelve of the fifteen member countries of the Union. the body, and only three abstentions, from the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom.

The text calling for extended humanitarian pauses and the protection of civilians, particularly children, does not address issues that have already been a source of discord among the permanent (and therefore veto-wielding) members of the Council , like the ceasefire. and condemnation of the actions of Hamas or Israel. In this way, even if it did not obtain the support of the United States or Russia, the text was not blocked by these countries.

The tone of the resolution is similar to that approved by the United Nations General Assembly on October 27, proposed by Jordan. Despite this, the Maltese text contains only seven elements; that of the General Assembly presented fourteen subjects.

Unlike resolutions approved by the General Assembly, texts approved by the Security Council have a binding effect, that is, countries are obliged to follow the decisions and may be subject to sanctions in the event of non-compliance. -respect.

Even if in practice these sanctions are rare, the measures approved by the Council are considered more severe by the international community. It is a mechanism of pressure on the authorities with the power to change the course of the war.

Before the text presented by Malta, four other resolutions were proposed to the Council: two from Russia (which did not receive sufficient support), one from the United States (with vetoes from China and Russia) and one from Brazil (banned by the United States). . At the time, the North American ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, justified the veto of the Brazilian text by the absence of mention of Israel’s right of self-defense.

This right was also not mentioned in the resolution approved this Wednesday. But after two months of war and countless images of horror, with growing calls from various parts of the world for the protection of civilians, the United States did not oppose the new text – it simply abstained, without to prevent its approval.

As the conflict progresses, the population’s demands also evolve. And the attention given to humanitarian issues, increasingly present in the speeches of leaders, including American ones, reflects this.