• World
  • Nov 17

UNSC adopts resolution calling for humanitarian pauses in Gaza

• The UN Security Council has called for urgent humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout Gaza to allow unhindered humanitarian access in the strip, finally overcoming deadlock and adopting a resolution on the  Israel-Hamas conflict.

• The resolution was initiated by Malta.

• The resolution called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and other groups, especially children, as well as ensuring immediate humanitarian access.

• It was adopted with 12 votes in favour, none against and three abstentions from Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

• The adoption of the resolution on November 15 came after four failed attempts last month in the UNSC to take action on allowing humanitarian access in the Israel-Hamas conflict that broke out after the militant group attacked Israel on October 7. 

UN Security Council

• The United Nations Charter established six main organs of the United Nations, including the Security Council. It gives primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security to the Security Council.

• All members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. While other organs of the United Nations make recommendations to Member States, only the Security Council has the power to make decisions that Member States are then obligated to implement under the Charter.

• The Security Council held its first session on January 17, 1946 at Church House, Westminster, London. Since its first meeting, the Security Council has taken permanent residence at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

• A representative of each of its members must be present at all times at UN Headquarters so that the Security Council can meet at any time as the need arises.

• The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. 

• It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. 

• In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorise the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

• The Security Council has a Presidency, which rotates, and changes, every month.

• The Council is composed of 15 members.

• Five permanent members are: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

• Ten non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.

The 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis as follows:

i) Five for African and Asian States.

ii) One for Eastern European States.

iii) Two for the Latin American and Caribbean States.

iv) Two for Western European and other States. 

• Every year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members for a two-year term. 

• Voting is conducted by secret ballot and candidates must receive a two-thirds majority, or 128 votes, even if they run uncontested.

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