Thursday, December 07, 2023

UN Secretary General invokes Article 99 - but for all the wrong reasons

UN News reports:

Invoking a rarely used article of the UN Charter, Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday called on the Security Council to “press to avert a humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza and unite in a call for a full humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants.

In a letter to the Council, Mr. Guterres invoked Article 99, contained in Chapter XV of the Charter.

This says that the UN chief “may bring to attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion, may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”

In a statement to journalists along with the letter, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said that this was the first time Mr. Guterres had felt compelled to invoke Chapter 99, since taking office in 2017.

Mr. Dujarric explained that the UN chief was taking the step “given the scale of the loss of human life in Gaza and Israel, in such a short amount of time”.

He described the use of Article 99 as a "dramatic constitutional move" that Mr. Guterres hoped would put more pressure on the Council - and the international community at large - to demand a ceasefire between the warring parties.

"I think it's arguably the most important invocation", Mr. Dujarric told reporters at UN Headquarters, "in my opinion, the most powerful tool that he [the Secretary-General] has."

 As the report states, Article 99 says "The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security."

The current war indeed threatens international peace and security. But not because a lot of Gazans are suffering.

One of the astounding things about this war is how the media has been reporting it as a war between Israel and Hamas.

It isn't.

Since October 7, Israel has been attacked on five fronts: Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.  All of those are part of Iran's "axis of resistance."

Israel was not the aggressor. Yemen, Hezbollah and other Lebanese terror groups, and Syrian rockets all attacked as soon as Hamas did. This is already an international war, if somewhat limited so far.

Any threat to international peace and security is coming from Iran's :"axis of resistance," not Israel. All of those other four fronts can escalate at any moment into a much larger crisis that could drag other countries into a war.

Yet in Guterres' invocation of Article 99 in his letter, meant to bring attention to a potential threat to international security, there is not one mention of Hezbollah or Syria or Yemen, and certainly not their patron Iran. 

If international pressure is needed anywhere, it is towards Iran as well as Hamas' sponsor Qatar, the two countries that have the most influence over the people shooting missiles at Israel. 

Why are we not seeing maps like this one in international media? Because no one wants to make Israel look like a victim, only an aggressor. Yet when you look at what is really happening you see that these countries aren't supporting Gazans but attacking Israel - for no valid reason under international law. 

Shouldn't the useless UN be spending a bit more time pressuring the countries who are actually threatening world peace?

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