UN Security Council upset by inacton on Mideast resolution

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US Permanent Representative to the UN Nikki Haley speaks during the Security Council meeting on Israel’s inaction on resolutions at the UN headquarters in New York, on Monday. Xinhua

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Two-thirds of the United Nations Security Council expressed “profound concern” on Monday that a 2016 resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building on land that Palestinians want for an independent state was not being implemented.

A letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres from 10 members of the 15-member council coincided with the bloodiest single day for Palestinians since 2014. Israeli troops fatally shot dozens of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border as the Trump administration opened the US Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.

“The Security Council must stand behind its resolutions and ensure they have meaning; otherwise, we risk undermining the credibility of the international system,” wrote Bolivia, China, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, France, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Peru and Sweden in the letter seen by Reuters.

A month before US President Donald Trump took office in January last yea, the Security Council adopted a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements, with 14 votes in favor and one abstention by former US President Barack Obama’s administration. Trump denounced the resolution and called for the United States to wield its veto.

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov reported to the Security Council last year that Israel was flouting the demand for an end to settlements, while both parties were ignoring a call to stop provocation, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric.

The signatories to the letter said they were writing “to express our profound concern about the lack of implementation” of the resolution.

The 10 Security Council members also asked Guterres on Monday to start submitting his quarterly reports on the implementation of the resolution in writing instead of orally.

“While there may sometimes be legitimate reasons for oral reports, they should be reserved for exceptional circumstances,” the council members wrote.

The resolution also “underlines it will not recognise any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations”.

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