UNSC Adopts Watered Down Resolution 2720 For Humanitarian Aid In Gaza Amid US & Russia’s Abstention

Report: Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
New Delhi, 23 December 2023

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2720 that calls for increased aid for the 2023 Gaza humanitarian crisis was adopted on 22nd December 2023 amid abstentions from U.S. and Russia while 13 members voted for and no member voted against the resolution.


The UNSC adopted watered-down resolution 2720 calls for immediately expediting aid deliveries to hungry and desperate civilians in war torn Gaza. The resolution falls short of adopting the original plea for an “urgent suspension of hostilities” between Israel and Hamas.


As war started soon after hostage crisis, Israel implemented a complete blockade on the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in significant shortages of fuel, food, medication, water, and essential medical supplies. This siege resulted in a 90% drop in electricity availability, impacting hospital power supplies, sewage plants, and shutting down the desalination plants that provide drinking water. Widespread disease outbreaks have spread across Gaza. The conflict created massive food and health crisis for the people of Gaza.


Heavy bombardment by Israeli airstrikes caused catastrophic damage to Gaza’s infrastructure, further deepening the crisis. The Gaza Health Ministry reported over 4,000 children killed in the war’s first month. UN Secretary General António Guterres stated Gaza had “become a graveyard for children.”. The fear of war spilling over to the region are not unfounded.


The delayed voting on resolution culminated a week and a half of high-level diplomacy by the United States, the UAE on behalf of Arab nations and others. The vote, initially scheduled for Monday, was pushed back each day until Friday.


The U.S. abstention avoided a third American veto of a Gaza resolution following Hamas’ surprise October 7 attacks inside Israel. Russia wanted the stronger language restored whereas the U.S. was against it.


United Arab Emirates Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, who sponsored the resolution said “still, It was the Christmas miracle we were all hoping for”. It would send a signal to the people in Gaza that the Security Council was working to alleviate their suffering, she added.





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