Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNGA meeting regarding the use of veto at a Security Council meeting on the Middle East, including the Palestinian question


Plenary meetings of the General Assembly on each new veto that the United States casts in the Security Council on Gaza leave an increasingly grave impression. It seems that we have been taken from the real world to its surreal nightmarish copy. For the fourth time, the UN General Assembly is meeting to listen to the utterly invalid excuses of the United States for once again blocking the demand to end violence in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone.

Once again we have heard the United States delegation refer to "effective efforts of American diplomacy on the ground", which no one, including the international community, should interfere with. We know the outcome - a real massacre in the Gaza Strip has continued throughout five months of escalation with more than 30,000 people killed. This is an unprecedented number of civilian casualties since the end of the Second World War. The vast majority of those killed were civilians, many of them women and children. The number of wounded has passed 70,000. The scale of the humanitarian catastrophe is widening. According to the Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, about 700,000 people out of 2.4 million are on the verge of starvation. These figures are shocking. The situation is exacerbated by Israel's vilification campaign against UNRWA, which plays a key role in supporting the Palestinians in Gaza and a number of neighboring states. We have just discussed this topic separately in this Hall.

An immediate end to the bloodshed in Gaza remains a humanitarian and moral imperative for the international community. It is no understatement to say that this is the measuring standard of the humanity of modern civilization.

Russia has been tirelessly striving to achieve this goal since the first days after the events of October 7, 2023, which we certainly condemn, but proceed from the premise that responding to it with methods of collective punishment of peaceful Palestinians is unacceptable and contrary to international law. As early as October 16, 2023, we proposed the first draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

No need to repeat how the Security Council's discussion on this issue developed thereafter. All draft resolutions with a similar appeal, as well as subsequent efforts at this track were invariably blocked by the United States, which time after time, in cold blood and without the slightest doubt exercised its veto power, thereby giving Israel "a license to further exterminate Gazans". On February 20, a similar fate befell the draft resolution of our colleagues from Algeria. It was a worthy, solid document. The Algerian delegation, on behalf of the Arab group, conducted all the necessary consultations in good faith.


The current unprecedented wave of violence in Gaza is largely the result of a protracted stagnation in the Middle East settlement process due to the attempts of the United States to monopolize mediation efforts, impede the work of the "Quartet" of international mediators (the US, Russia, the EU, the UN) and to promote narrow self-serving agenda seeking to subordinate the interests of the countries of the region.

The developments in Gaza clearly confirm what we have been warning about for years -  large-scale confrontation and outbreaks of violence in the region will inevitably recur unless we work together to address the root cause of this long-standing conflict, namely, the establishment of a Palestinian State in accordance with UNSC and UNGA resolutions. The Palestinians must implement their right to establish a state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Only this approach, which is just and based on international law, can bring sustainable peace to the region.

It is important that members of the Security Council show determination and unity in order to bring about an immediate ceasefire and recover peace. Our common goal is to assist the parties in establishing a direct dialogue that should resolve all contentious issues of the final status of the Palestinian territories. We consistently and unwaveringly advocate a sustainable negotiation process at a UN-approved platform, which should result in the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian State coexisting in peace and security with Israel. At the same time, we cannot fail to note that in West Jerusalem there are different views regarding the future of Gaza. And there are those who would like to maintain a situation of division in the Palestinian ranks in order to take advantage of their contradictions and block the launch of negotiations referring to the lack of a "partner" on the Palestinian side.

For our part, we are convinced of the need to ensure the political and geographical unity of Gaza and the West Bank, without which the entire Middle East will continue to be destabilized, and violence will inevitably recur bringing more victims. The task of promoting Palestinian consensus was put at the center of the meeting of representatives of leading Palestinian organizations in Moscow (29 February-2 March), where the parties agreed to continue dialogue with a view to achieving comprehensive national unity. That should include all Palestinian forces and factions within the framework of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

Russia is ready to maintain constructive contacts with all parties while we continue to contribute to a Palestinian-Israeli settlement. First and foremost, it is necessary to stop the bloodshed and prevent the crisis from engulfing the entire region, otherwise this conflict will never recede into history.

Thank you.