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MSF calls US veto of Gaza ceasefire resolution “a vote against humanity”

"The US veto makes it complicit in the carnage in Gaza," said Avril Benoît, executive director of MSF-USA.

MSF-USA staff hold signs calling for a ceasefire in Gaza during a vigil at the United Nations in New York.

United States 2023 © Sara Kerens/The Associated Press

Today, December 8, the United Nations Security Council failed to adopt a resolution demanding a ceasefire in Gaza—blocked by a veto from the United States. The Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. This followed a letter from the UN Secretary-General invoking Article 99 to call on the Security Council to prevent further escalation and end this crisis. In addition to demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, the draft resolution tabled by the United Arab Emirates reiterated the Security Council's demand on all parties to comply with their obligations under international law, notably with regard to the protection of civilians in Palestine and Israel.

Avril Benoît, executive director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) USA gave the following statement:

“As bombs continue to rain down on Palestinian civilians and cause widespread destruction, the US has once again used its power to block an attempt by the UN Security Council to demand a ceasefire in Gaza. By vetoing this resolution, the US stands alone in casting its vote against humanity.

The US veto stands in sharp contrast to the values it professes to uphold. By continuing to provide diplomatic cover for the ongoing atrocities in Gaza, the US is signaling that international humanitarian law can be applied selectively—and that the lives of some people matter less than the lives of others.

Israel has continued to indiscriminately attack civilians and civilian structures, impose a siege that amounts to collective punishment for the entire population of Gaza, force mass displacement, and deny access to vital medical care and humanitarian assistance. The US continues to provide political and financial support to Israel as it prosecutes its military operations regardless of the terrible toll on civilians. For humanitarians to be able to respond to the overwhelming needs, we need a ceasefire now.

The US veto makes it complicit in the carnage in Gaza.”

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