A US-drafted resolution on the situation in the Middle East failed in the UN Security Council today due to a veto by Russia and China. The resolution would have stressed the need for an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza. To that end, the resolution would have supported the ongoing diplomatic negotiations led by the U.S., Qatar and Egypt. Among other things, this resolution demanded that the parties comply with their obligations under international law and called for an increase in humanitarian aid. Switzerland considers it necessary to implement an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. In particular, such a measure should facilitate the release of the hostages and the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid to and within the Gaza Strip. Switzerland supported the resolution in New York and deplores the outcome of the vote. There is an urgent need for the Security Council to call on the parties to respect international humanitarian law and protect the civilian population.

In its statement after the vote, Switzerland stressed that the adoption of this resolution would have sent a clear call to the parties to fully comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights. The resolution would also have sent a signal to the parties to work towards a durable ceasefire, almost six months after the acts of terrorism by Hamas, which Switzerland condemned. In addition, the resolution would have emphasized the centrality of a two-state solution as the only basis for peace and security in the region.

Statement after the vote on the US resolution, UN Security Council, 22 March 2024

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