Need for global multilateralism

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has recently warned that the world is entering into an age of chaos as the UN Security Council (UNSC) remains sharply divided over Israel’s war on Gaza. According to the UN Chief, he was especially alarmed after Israel focused its military assault in Gaza on the southern city of Rafah, where more than a million people have sought shelter. The United Nations Security Council, the primary platform for questions of global peace, is deadlocked by geopolitical fissures. The UN Secretary-General called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the unconditional release of all hostages. According to Guterres, the potential chaos will be a more dangerous and unpredictable free-for-all with total impunity. The UN chief urged world leaders to seize the Summit of the Future opportunity, which will be held in September in New York on the sidelines of the annual General Assembly session, to shape multilateralism for years to come.

Yesterday, the Gaza conflict entered its fifth month, with no visible end in sight. After a weeklong study of peace proposals, Hamas expressed willingness to a 135-day truce and ceasefire deal but Israel’s Netanyahu rejected the plan apparently in pursuit of his ambitious agenda to recover hostages through military operations and eliminate Hamas from Gaza, so no Palestinian Arabs ever dared to attack Jewish state at any point in the future. Hardcore Netanyahu responded to a single Hamas attack that killed about 1,140 Israelis and resulted in 240 hostages on October 7, with Israel’s relentless bombardment and ground offensive on Gaza that perished over 28000 lives mostly women and children. Meanwhile, Israel’s unceasing bombardment turned the thickly populated enclave into robles, urban battles and violent coercion forced more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population to leave their homes and take shelter at relatively safe places. Unfortunately, the rogue Israeli regime still opposes the ceasefire and denies the creation of a viable Palestinian state on the principle of a two-state solution, which is vigorously backed by the UN resolutions and the global community at large.

Unfortunately, the United Nations and its vital organ, the UN Secuirty Council failed to achieve a consensus and realise a ceasefire over the past long four months despite continuous debate and numerous sittings largely due to its discriminatory structure and extraordinary rights of veto power with five major countries including the United States, the UK, Russia, China and France. Historically, veto power is fundamentally against the rule of justice and equality, it ever used for a negative purpose against the interest of the majority. The United States used the discriminatory veto power multiple times not to secure peace but to support violence and fuel war of a belligerent power against its weak neighbour and unarmed civilians. Such abuse of power and blackmail of the global community has been a long-held policy of P5 nations in the history of the United Nations since its formation in 1945.

This is not the first time the UN Security Council has been divided but it is the worst in history and the victims have always been the poor nations, particularly Muslims. Today’s dysfunction is deeper and more dangerous unlike during the Cold War, when both major powers competed and well-established mechanisms helped manage their relations. Currently powerful Western bloc wholeheartedly backs Israel against unarmed innocent Palestinians instead of pressing Tel Aviv to honour UN resolutions and move toward resolving the Palestine dispute through a two-state solution. The UN Chief has admitted the helplessness and impotence of his institution, whereas, the civilized nations have already demanded the end of discrimination and overhauling of the United Nations. It is a grave universal issue that merits teamwork and cooperation from the Non-aligned movement and third-world nations, so this universal forum could perform its crucial role in true letter and spirit.