Skip to content

U.N. Security Council blocked again on a proposal urging Gaza cease-fire

After the U.S. vetoed the first three proposals, China and Russia stopped the council's fourth try at a Gaza resolution.

Around 1.7 million people are displaced in Gaza
Around 1.7 million people are displaced in Gaza (AN/PRCS)

Three times before, the most powerful arm of the United Nations failed to pass a resolution demanding a cease-fire in Gaza. On each occasion, the Security Council was blocked by the United States, Israel's closest ally.

With the U.S. finally putting forward its own version, China and Russia on Friday stopped the fourth attempt by the 15-nation council, where the three powerful nations – along with France and the United Kingdom – have been trusted with the only veto-wielding seats since World War II ended.

The U.S. draft resolution cited “the imperative of an immediate and sustained cease-fire" in the Gaza war but did not demand one. It received a 11-3 vote; Algeria, China and Russia were opposed while Guyana abstained.

The Security Council already has adopted two resolutions on the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. China and Russia also vetoed a U.S. resolution that called for humanitarian pauses in the fighting.

U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

'A display of cynical power politics'

Humanitarian organizations reacted with dismay. Once again, children in Gaza have been abandoned by the people whose responsibility it is to protect them," said Xavier Joubert, Save the Children International's director in Gaza.

"Children will continue to be killed, maimed, struck down by preventable diseases, and face starvation because of this failure today," he said. "How many thousands more need to die before the world acts?"

Mary Robinson, chair of The Elders and former president of Ireland, said the council has "descended into a display of cynical power politics over action, and its credibility is on the line."

Robinson called on governments to use all the leverage they can to push for an immediate ceasefire and pressure Israel to end its bombardment and siege of Gaza and Hamas to release the rest of the hostages it took in last October’s surprise terror attack on Israel.

More than 30,000 Palestinian civilians and combatants have been killed and 70,000 others wounded as a result of Israeli attacks in Gaza since Oct. 7, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry has reported.

"Today’s egregious use of the veto by Russia and China follows serial vetoes by the US; on every occasion, national self-interest is placed above the responsibility to prevent atrocities," she said. "Civilians in Gaza will suffer more as this moral and political vacuum expands."