A Resolution Being “Non-Binding” Means Re-Forming the United Nations is a Must!
Reem Issa Reem Issa

A Resolution Being “Non-Binding” Means Re-Forming the United Nations is a Must!

The UN Security Council adopted on March 25 UNSC Resolution 2728, in which it called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, which – as expected – the Zionist entity ignored and continued its aggression.

However, what set off analyses and raised questions was the way the US dealt with the resolution, whether during the Security Council session or after the resolution was adopted. The US abstained from voting on the resolution, which resulted in its adoption with the other 14 Security Council members voting favorably. The US abstaining was a first, compared to the previous time when it used its veto power to hinder the passing of draft resolutions on the same subject.

The other noteworthy issue is that after adopting the resolution, Washington declared through its representative in the Security Council during the same session and later through US administration officials that the resolution is “non-binding”.

Kassioun talked about this subject in a previous article (Arabic): “Washington, by saying that the ‘resolution is non-binding’, not only undermines the legal value of this resolution, but also openly insults and disregards the Security Council, the UN, its Charter, and international law... Although Washington’s undermining of the international institution is not new, this degree of insolence may indicate that Washington has entered a new, third phase in dealing with the UN. If it had been satisfied with it for a period of time and used it for its own interests... it has entered the process of disrupting the entire institution, by preventing adoption of many resolutions by extensively using the veto right against the countries of the Global South in general, and against the rising powers in particular. As for the current third phase, it may be a phase in which Washington is no longer even able to continue disrupting the institution, and so it has begun working to undermine it openly by disregarding it and its resolutions. Thus, when Security Council resolutions are non-binding, this institution has no real value”.

Confirming the above, it has become hard even for the West itself to ignore this US behavior within the international system. In an article published on American website “Responsible Statecraft” a few days ago, the author looks into Washington’s statement that the resolution is non-binding, and refutes this allegation based on various UN-related references, including the UN Charter, previous UN Security Council resolutions, an UN resolutions including one by the International Court of Justice.

More importantly is what the author says with regard to what this US statement indicates, starting the article with: “Experts say the US is hurting its international standing by insisting that a recent call for a ceasefire in Gaza is ‘non-binding’.” She then adds: “experts complain that Washington appears to be selectively interpreting international law to favor its political objectives – in this case to protect Israel – and action that could have consequences for its legitimacy in the eyes of the rest of the world moving forward”. She then concludes by saying: “The US position is not without potential consequences. Washington’s insistence that this resolution is non-binding in the face of well-established interpretation of charter provisions and Security Council precedent is once against eroding the normative power of the international legal system… and contributes to a growing perception that international law is an instrument of political power for the US and its allies”.

Other Western outlets did not go this far in drawing conclusions, but indirectly did so through articles that refute Washington’s allegation that the resolution is non-binding. Australian website, “The Conversation”, published a long article about the issue, confirming that the resolution is binding based on relevant international and UN references, but stopped short of accusing the US of selectively disregarding international laws and norms.

Even some media outlets of the Zionist entity, of course in their own way, touched on the matter. An article published by “The Times of Israel” noted that: “Israel is not expected to abide by the resolution’s call for an immediate ceasefire… though it is a party to the UN charter and failure to abide by its resolutions could lead to calls for sanctions. But with the US stressing that the resolution is not binding, it is highly unlikely that Washington would allow the council to sanction Israel for failing to abide by the measure”. The article then adds: “given that the US can block members from trying to sanction Israel for failing to abide by the resolution, Washington’s interpretation seems to carry more weight. Accordingly, it demonstrates the highly limited influence the US has when weighing into conflicts around the world”. This, indirectly, this article confirms that same point, and that is the US interprets international laws and Security Council resolutions as it pleases, and acts in a manner that undermines and obstructs the UN’s work whenever it wishes to do so.

Certainly, this talk about the US interpreting international law in a selective manner that serves its interests is not a new discovery; it is in fact something that has been known for quite a while. What is new, and which we may witness an increase therein, is that the level of insolence in the way the US behaves has reached a point where it can no longer be ignored or accepted, even by its closest allies and Western media.

Perhaps more importantly in this context is that the issue will not stop at the formation of public and international opinion that Washington is violating all international conventions and disregards the UN institution and its resolutions. Rather, matters will go further within the framework of the ongoing global conflict.

Kassioun, a few days after the start of the battle in Ukraine (specifically on February 27, 2022), identified in its editorial that week, entitled “The Post-Ukraine World”, six basic general elements for the post-Ukraine world, the first among these included the following:

The historical validity of the global political system in its existing form, represented by the UN and all the major international organizations, which still reflect in their composition and work mechanisms outdated international balances, has expired. This expiration is not only reflected in the inability of these international institutions to solve the various global problems, but even more in their being a contributor to their complexity, deepening, and prolongation. This stems from Western manipulation within them. This also means that it has become necessary and urgent to reconsider their radical composition in a way that is consistent with the real balance of powers. In particular, it has become a necessity to represent countries and continents of great real and human weight in the Security Council (India and Africa, to name a few)”.

The US, blatantly considering a Security Council resolution non-binding is part of this same process indicated in the above quote, and an advanced stage within this process.

(النسخة العربية)