Hopefully US will follow through on its pledge over Gaza cease-fire: Global Times editorial
Published: Jun 11, 2024 11:53 PM
An overall view as the UN Security Council holds a meeting on the situation in the Middle East at UN headquarters on June 10, 2024 in New York. Photo: VCG

An overall view as the UN Security Council holds a meeting on the situation in the Middle East at UN headquarters on June 10, 2024 in New York. Photo: VCG

The United Nations (UN) Security Council, on June 10 local time, passed a draft resolution proposed by the US aimed at ending the conflict in Gaza with 14 votes in favor and 1 abstention. This is the most specific resolution passed by the Security Council since the outbreak of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, containing calls for "immediate, full, and complete ceasefire," release of hostages, ensuring humanitarian assistance, durable end to the war and other contents that had long been advocated by the international community, as well as a "three-phase approach" on how to achieve these goals.

Unlike previous draft resolutions, relevant media reports did not mention on-site reactions, including whether there was applause. This does not mean that the Security Council members do not welcome this resolution; on the contrary, it represents the most unanimous attitude and call from the international community so far. Even the US has realized that the situation in Gaza has crossed the humanitarian bottom line, and a ceasefire is urgently needed. What the international community needs is not applause, but immediate action.

This resolution is not perfect. As emphasized by Ambassador Fu Cong, the Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the UN, in his explanation after the vote, "the draft is still ambiguous in quite a number of aspects." "From the perspective of the urgent need to stop more killing and to alleviate humanitarian catastrophe, China voted in favor of the draft resolution. This has been the most desperate aspiration of Gaza civilians in deep sufferings." This vote of approval was cast by China based on the urgent need to stop further killings and alleviate the humanitarian disaster. Ambassador Fu Cong's words not only represent China but also speak for all members of the international community who voted in favor of peace and justice.

The resolution explicitly mentions that the only way to end the cycle of violence "is through a political settlement." This is the basic position of the international community, including China, in dealing with the current conflicts. Considering that the US is the proposer of this resolution, it is unclear whether this sentence was included from the beginning or added after communication with other countries. However, looking at the 11 draft resolutions voted by the Security Council since the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we can clearly observe US' curve of transformation from initially not even mentioning "ceasefire," to later only mentioning "temporary ceasefire," to now proposing a "durable end to the war."

The unpopular military actions in the Gaza Strip, along with the international community's support for the just cause of the Gaza people, have exerted significant pressure on the US and Israel. As a result, the image and soft power of the US have suffered greatly. Since the US always puts "diplomacy of values" on its lips, isn't humanitarianism the most basic value? Washington's diplomatic rhetoric cannot answer this question. Even media outlets like Voice of America have acknowledged that the US has "attracted widespread criticism" for repeatedly opposing UN draft resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The international mediation process in the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict has once again highlighted the value of the UN as the core mechanism of multilateralism and the primary platform for global governance. Over the years, the US, as one of the founding members of the UN and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has shown a notable lack of respect for the UN, often sidelining both the UN and the Security Council to pursue unilateral actions, and degrading the UN's reputation by promoting the idea that it is ineffective. However, after making a big detour, the US still has to return to the UN platform because its functions are irreplaceable. Upholding the UN's central role in international affairs has always been the consistent stance of China and the international community, whereas the US' attitude is opportunistic and self-serving. Today it has to return to UN; tomorrow it might change again, but the forces of reality are always stronger. Regardless of how much the US unilateralism intends to deviate, the trend toward a multipolar world will ultimately pull it back.

As of press time, the latest news is that Hamas has expressed acceptance of the ceasefire resolution and is prepared to negotiate the details. According to the US, there is a "strong consensus" among Israeli leaders to move forward the Gaza ceasefire plan. This is progress that has not been seen in the past eight months. The US claimed that "the fighting could stop today" if Hamas agrees to the deal. The world is watching to see if the US will keep its word. Moving forward, the "true test" will be whether the three-phase approach can transition smoothly, whether both sides of the conflict can fully implement the terms without delay and unconditionally, and permanently cease hostilities.

In addition, resolving the Palestinian issue requires not only peace but also justice. Therefore, the resolution once again reaffirms the Security Council's firm commitment to the two-State solution. The UN Security Council resolutions are binding, and this time, the US has firmly pledged to "help ensure that Israel lives up to its obligations." This is not a promise to any single country, but a commitment to the world, which is clear and unequivocal. We hope the US will honor its word and make a genuine effort in promoting the implementation of the resolution.