Jan 5, 2015 – The last act of the 2014 Security Council was to defeat a draft resolution calling on Israel to withdraw from territory it occupied since 1967.
Eight countries supported the text which was put to a vote on Dec. 30 – Argentina, Chad, China, Chile, France, Jordan, Luxembourg and Russia – while five abstained – Britain, Lithuania, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Korea. The United States and Australia voted against the text.
That the draft did not secure the requisite nine votes needed for adoption meant the United States was not forced to use its veto for the 43rd time in defense of Israel. But it was Samantha Power’s first no vote in the Council since assuming the post of US envoy to the UN in August 2013.
It was also Australia’s fist no vote in the Council in its two-year term which ended on Dec. 31st.
The vote exposed the lack of unity among EU countries on the Palestinian question with France and Luxembourg voting for the draft while Britain and Lithuania abstained. There was also disunity among UN regional groups, with the exception of Latin America where both Council members from the region – Argentina and Chile – supported the text.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday said he plans to re-submit the resolution. Two of the countries who ended their non-permanent term on the Security Council on Dec. 31 supported the resolution – Argentina and Luxembourg, two more abstained, Rwanda and South Korea, while Australia voted against it.
Of the five new countries joining the Council for 2015/16, Angola, Malaysia and Venezuela are almost certainties to support the draft resolution and while the positions of New Zealand and Spain are unclear, neither is thought to oppose the resolution.
Although the chances of the draft securing the nine votes needed for adoption increase with the composition of the new Council, the United States will more than likely use its veto to defeat the text.
- Denis Fitzgerald
On Twitter @denisfitz