Bolivia's UN envoy hopes for Security Council resolution on protection of Palestinians
UNITED NATIONS, May 22 (Xinhua) -- The Bolivian ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday expressed the hope that the Security Council would be able to adopt a resolution on the international protection of Palestinian civilians.
After the latest round of violence in Gaza between Palestinians and Israeli security forces that left at least 60 people dead, Kuwait circulated a Security Council draft resolution, which would provide for the deployment of "an international protection mission" for Palestinian civilians.
"We fully back the Kuwaiti proposal. We believe it's timely for the international community to uphold its responsibility in terms of protecting Palestinians," Sacha Llortenti, the Bolivian ambassador, told reporters. "We hope that sooner than later we will have the draft on the floor to be voted on."
However, it is widely believed that the United States, an ally of Israel, will veto the draft should it proceed to a vote. The United States, as a permanent member of the Security Council, has veto power.
On May 14, the United States blocked a Kuwaiti-drafted Security Council statement that would have expressed outrage at the killing of Palestinians and called for an independent investigation.
At an emergency Security Council meeting on the following day, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, blamed Hamas, which controls Gaza, for the violence.
Haley on Friday called the UN Human Rights Council's decision to launch an investigation of Israel's use of force in Gaza "shameful."
"At a time when Venezuela lurches toward dictatorship, Iran imprisons thousands of political opponents, and ethnic cleansing has taken place in Burma, the UN's so-called Human Rights Council has decided to launch an investigation into a democratic country's legitimate defense of its own border against terrorist attacks. It is another shameful day for human rights," Haley said in a statement.
Asked what he expected from the U.S. delegation on the Kuwaiti draft, Llorenti said: "We expect from any member state to uphold international law, to comply with resolutions of the Security Council. But it seems that they (Americans) believe they are above international law."
British deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, Jonathan Allen, was less enthusiastic about the Kuwaiti draft, saying that the Security Council members are at an early stage of discussions and that his country needs clarity on elements of the draft resolution.
"We continue to negotiate with our colleagues in the council, in particular to get more information about what precisely is intended by, for example, a protection mission -- what that means."
"We are at an early stage, we are discussing with our colleagues. We need to have greater clarity on some of the elements in order to be able to make a decision (on whether to support the draft resolution)."
Riyad Mansour, Palestine's permanent observer to the United Nations, on Tuesday urged the Security Council to adopt the Kuwaiti-drafted text.
"We urge council members to seize this opportunity to demonstrate that the principles enacted in Security Council resolutions on protection of civilians, including children, have no exceptions, and to show their readiness to consistently act in defense of these principles in the face of such grave violations," Mansour told the Security Council in a debate on protection of civilians in armed conflict.
Llorenti said Tuesday that Bolivia fully supports Palestine's demand for an investigation into the violent incidents in Gaza by the International Criminal Court. Allen of Britain refused to comment on the issue.