The General Assembly of The UN met on Tuesday in a special emergency session to discuss the veto presented by the United States in the latest resolution of the Security Council last Friday, called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
Vetoed by the United States although he was not the first to use -almost always in support of Israel- On this occasion, it provoked a lot of criticism from the Muslim world. but also from Russia, China and countries in Africa and Asia.
Following a reform of procedures in 2022, the president of the Assembly can call an extraordinary session whenever one of the five permanent members of the Security Council – the US, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom – uses the right of veto to prevent a resolution that would have had the required majority (9 of 15 members).
In this case, and even if it is a Sunday – when UN agencies are usually closed -, The Speaker of the Assembly Dennis Francis acted quickly and informed the member states that this emergency session will take place on Tuesday, December 12 at 3:00 pm local time in New York, according to the presidency.
The session is required on the same Friday -that is, almost immediately after the Council vote that was vetoed by the United States- through the ambassadors of Egypt and Mauritania to the UN as the respective heads of the Arab Group and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
The letter sent to Francis and made public by the Egyptian mission shows that the technical session is a continuation of the previous emergency session on the same topic but called it “in response to the veto of a permanent member of the Council on the serious situation of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the need for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.”
Assembly resolutions do not have a binding nature or follow-up mechanisms, so they are only symbolic and serve to measure the support of each country.
On October 27, The Assembly met in an unusual way, also after another veto from the United States, and agreed to call for “an immediate, lasting and sustainable humanitarian truce.” which will lead to a cessation of hostilities.”
That text was supported by 120 countries, including France and Spain, and rejected by 14 – the United States, Israel and 12 other allied countries -, while 45 abstained, including Canada, the United Kingdom , Germany and Italy.