(TheConservativeTimes.org) – Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, is pulling rank over continued hostilities between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East, citing the need for an immediate ceasefire in the region.
Guterres has invoked Article 99 of the U.N. Charter, a rarely used power available to the secretary general, which allows him to alert the U.N. security with regard to “any matter which, in his opinion, may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”
The last time Article 99 was invoked was more than half a century ago, in 1971, during fighting that led to the separation from Pakistan of the country now known as Bangladesh.
According to Guterres, the situation in Gaza is so dire that he believes that a “humanitarian catastrophe” is imminent, necessitating the invocation of Article 99. As a result of the move, the 15 countries that serve on the powerful U.N. Security Council will vote on whether or not to intervene and take stronger measures to implement a ceasefire in the region. Guterres added that without a ceasefire, Gaza’s humanitarian system and civil order will experience a “complete collapse” very soon.
Arab countries led by the United Arab Emirates have also put out a resolution supporting the invocation of Article 99, and reiterated their support for a ceasefire.
The move by the U.N. secretary general also puts the U.S. in a pickle. As one of Israel’s staunchest allies, the U.S. has not yet officially supported a ceasefire. The U.S. is also one of the very few countries to the power to veto resolutions.
In response to the news, U.S. Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood said that the declaration of a ceasefire by the U.N. Security Council “would not be useful” at the moment. It would instead, Wood said, only get in the way of negotiations and talks currently being held behind the scenes. The U.S. has not directly stated that it intends to veto the resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
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