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After impasses, UN Security Council approves resolution focused on civilians

A short and objective resolution, which does not make great demands on the 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 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, especially children, does not touch on points that have already been a source of contention among the permanent members (and, therefore, with veto power) of the Council, such as a ceasefire and the condemnation of the acts of Hamas or Israel. This way, even if it didn’t get the support of the USA or Russia, the text at least wasn’t blocked by the countries.

The tone of the resolution is similar to that approved by the UN General Assembly on October 27, proposed by Jordan. Even so, the Maltese text only contains seven items; that of the General Assembly presented fourteen topics.

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

Even though in practice these punishments are rare, the measures approved by the Council are seen as stronger by the international community. It is a pressure mechanism on 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 have sufficient support), one from the USA (vetoed by China and Russia), and one from Brazil (barred by the USA). At the time, the North American ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, justified the veto of Brazil’s text due to the lack of mention of Israel’s right to 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 increasing calls from various parts of the world for the protection of civilians, the US did not oppose the new text – it just abstained, not preventing its approval.

As the conflict progresses, the demands of the population also change. And the attention to humanitarian issues, increasingly present in the discourse of leaders, including Americans, is a reflection of this.

Source: CNN Brasil

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