The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 25 October 2023.
Explanation of vote by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East.
President, we regret that the draft resolution proposed by the United States was not adopted. The text would have had a real impact on the ground by calling for hostages to be released, for aid to get in, including through humanitarian pauses. Through this resolution the Security Council would have rightly, and for the first time, unequivocally condemned Hamas’ terrorist attacks.
The United Kingdom could not support the resolution proposed by Russia, which once again failed to recognise Israel’s right to self-defence.
As so many of us have said, there is a grave crisis unfolding in the Middle East. The Russian text was put to a vote without a single minute of consultation with the Council members. It was not a serious attempt to have this Council speak with one voice.
We are committed to continuing to work across the Council towards a balanced text that condemns Hamas, reaffirms Israel’s right to defend itself, is clear on the need for everything to be done to protect civilians in line with international humanitarian law and gets more aid flowing into Gaza.
I thank you.