Middle East

UN, member states dispute US claim that Gaza cease-fire resolution is 'non-binding'

Elected 10 group at UN Security Council voice hopes for resolution to 'pave way for more positive perspectives towards lasting peace in Middle East'

Merve Aydogan  | 25.03.2024 - Update : 26.03.2024
UN, member states dispute US claim that Gaza cease-fire resolution is 'non-binding'


The UN and some member countries reacted to the US claim that the Gaza resolution adopted at the UN Security Council demanding an immediate cease-fire is "non-binding," noting that the resolution is indeed binding.

"We are happy that the council has successfully adopted the much needed resolution to demand the immediate cease-fire in Gaza and the release of hostages," said Pedro Comissario, Mozambique's envoy to the UN, on behalf of the Elected 10 Group.

The Elected 10 Group, includes Algeria, Ecuador, Guyana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, and Switzerland, presented the resolution to the Council.

Urging for immediate and uninterrupted flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza, Comissario said, "It is the hope of the 10 that the resolution adopted today will be implemented in good faith by all parties and will help ease the suffering of the population in Gaza."

He also expressed hopes for the resolution to "pave the way for more positive perspectives towards a lasting peace in the Middle East."

Asked about US claims of labelling the resolution as "non-binding," he affirmed that "All United Nations Security Council resolutions are binding and mandatory."

Adoption of cease-fire resolution a 'historic day'

Palestine's UN envoy, Riyad Mansour, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, called the adoption of resolution a "historic day," and said it is a "significant step" towards ending the aggression against Palestinians.

"I believe the cease-fire will open the door for the implementation of that second objective," Mansour said.

Lashing against the US over its "non-binding" comments, Mansour said, "We come to the Security Council. They tell us it is not binding. We do not buy that. Security Council resolutions are binding".

"And if Israel is not going to implement it, then it is the duty of the Security Council to use Chapter 7 to take measures and punitive measures in order to make them obey the resolution of the Security Council," he said.

Hailing the UN chief's efforts for a humanitarian cease-fire and his visit to Egypt and Jordan, Mansour said: "We salute him. We will defend him."

He also announced that the Arab Group will now start working on another draft resolution demanding for Rafah to not be occupied.

"Rafah should be protected. We should not create horrific humanitarian situation or crimes," Mansour stressed.

Barbara Woodward, UK's envoy to the UN, also commented on the resolution at a short briefing and called for the resolution to be implemented immediately.

"This resolution needs to be implemented immediately. I said that in my explanation of vote. It sends a clear Council message, a united Council message, and we expect all Council resolutions to be implemented. This one is not any different. The demands in the resolution are absolutely clear," she noted.

For his part, the UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq at daily press briefing said: "All the resolutions of the Security Council are international law. They are as binding as international laws."

Following the adoption of the resolution, the US claimed that the decision is non-binding due to the use of the expression "ceasefire is requested" instead of "decides on the necessity of a ceasefire" in the resolution.

However, according to Article 25 of the UN Charter, there is no requirement to refer to Article 7 for resolutions to be binding.

The UN Security Council on Monday passed a resolution demanding a cease-fire in Gaza during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which already began on March 11 and is set to end on April 9.

As many as 14 countries voted in favor of the resolution, presented by 10 elected members of the Council, while the US abstained from voting.

The resolution called for an "immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire."

It also demanded the "immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access to address their medical and other humanitarian needs."

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