Photo: UN General Assembly votes on immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Credit: X/UN News
Disgusted by the United States blocking a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, an emergency procedure was used at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday to force a vote. By a margin of 153-10, the countries of the world called for an end to Biden and Netanyahu’s massacre.
With outrage growing around the world at the U.S.-Israeli genocide of Palestinians, a resolution was proposed at the United Nations Security Council last Friday that called for a ceasefire. Thirteen countries voted in favor, the UK abstained, and the U.S. voted no.
The only body of the UN that can pass resolutions that are binding in international law – and the only body that can enforce those resolutions with sanctions or military action – is the Security Council. Under the undemocratic structure of the UN, a motion cannot pass if any of the five permanent members of the Security Council (including the United States) oppose it. So the resolution failed because the United States – and no other country – voted against it.
But there was still one option left. There is an emergency procedure called “uniting for peace” that allows countries to force a vote of the entire United Nations when the Security Council is failing in its duty to preserve international peace.
This is a very rare move only used in extreme circumstances, but global outrage over the assault on Gaza prompted Egypt and Mauritania to invoke the procedure and call a special meeting of the General Assembly – the body of the UN where every country has an equal vote.
But even with this resolution passed, the UN does not have the ability to enforce their decision.
It is still up to the people of the world to put an end to the genocide.
Yesterday’s vote was an embarrassment for the U.S. empire. It is a reminder that the world stands with Palestine. But the power of the U.S.-Israeli war machine can only be defeated by the struggle of the people in the streets!