The United Nations Security Council on Friday failed to adopt a draft resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza Strip, after the US used its veto power to prevent the resolution from being passed.
Up to 13 out of 15 member states of the Council had voted in favor of the resolution, while Britain abstained from voting.
The session was held after the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres, activated Article 99 of the UN Charter, which gives the Secretary-General the authority to “draw the attention of the Security Council to any issue he deems it may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”
The US mission to the UN said that the United States “does not see the ceasefire as correct, and Hamas will continue its aggression.”
Earlier on Friday, Guterres warned of the danger of the ongoing military operations in the Gaza Strip, anticipating that the continuation of the conflict would lead to the displacement of Palestinians towards Egypt.
Guterres said, in his speech before the Security Council, “The restrictions imposed by Israel in Gaza make it difficult for United Nations organizations to meet the needs of the population.”
“The ongoing military operations in Gaza limit access to those in need of humanitarian assistance, and there are fears of a complete collapse of the humanitarian support system in the Strip, which will have dire consequences.”
“We expect that the events in the Gaza Strip will lead to a complete collapse of public order and increase pressure for a mass exodus to Egypt,” he said, noting that “85 percent of the population of the Gaza Strip were forced to leave their homes, without the minimum necessities of life.”
Regarding the impact of the two-month-long war on the region, the Secretary-General of the United Nations said: “I fear that the consequences will be devastating to the security of the entire region, after the occupied West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen were drawn into the Gaza conflict to varying degrees.”
Guterres, in a rare move, urged the UN Security Council to take measures to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip, applying Article 99 of the United Nations Charter for the first time since he took office.
He said, through his account on the X website (formerly Twitter): “I have just implemented Article 99 of the United Nations Charter – for the first time during my term as Secretary-General, and in the face of a grave danger of the collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, I urge the Council to help avoid a humanitarian catastrophe and a call to declare a humanitarian ceasefire.”
Article 99 of the United Nations Charter stipulates: “The Secretary-General may alert the Security Council to any matter that he deems may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”
UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said, via the official UN website, that the Secretary-General is thus exercising the authority granted to him by the Charter in what can be described as a major constitutional step.
He added that this article is the most powerful tool that the Secretary-General has within the framework of the United Nations Charter.
“he United Nations is approaching the point of complete paralysis of its humanitarian operations in Gaza, in a place where about 15,000 people and 130 United Nations workers were killed,” Dujarric warned.