top of page

Article 99 UN Israel

Since 1945, the UN Charter has been the founding treaty of the United Nations. Each chapter consists of a number of articles that establish the governing structure and framework of the UN system. One of those articles is Article 99. This is a rarely invoked article that gives the secretary general the power to bring the attention of the Security Council to an issue detrimental to international peace. In recent light of the Israel-Hamas War, the current UN Secretary-General António Guterres invoked it for the first time in 52 years and for the third time in history.

He urged them to impose an immediate humanitarian cease-fire. Though Arab and Islamic nations have been intent on supporting this by making the cease-fire resolution case on the 15th of December, the UK, one of the five veto powers of the United Nations, has abstained from the draft resolution due to the lack of condemnation towards Hamas’ atrocities on the resolution’s part. The US, on the other hand, another veto power and Israel’s closest ally, has not supported this choice at all due to the belief that this would be useless at this time. Although this could likely mean a possible veto later, the US has not said anything definitive.

The main reason that Guterres invoked Article 99 was his opinion that if this decision isn’t taken now, or later, as the US is saying, humanitarian intervention will have little to no effect as the conflict escalates further into neighboring countries. Unfortunately, with the US rejecting the resolution, it was not adopted.

What does this mean for the situation in Gaza? This could mean many things. One relates to Guterres’ worries that a collapse in the Gaza humanitarian system could come to fruition. As dozens of IDF soldiers perish, many more people are hostages in Gaza, and the fighting seeing no end, the cease-fire could have been our only chance to make a change or even resolve the conflict, but there are, although more extreme options, to end this war.

Alvin Gachau


bottom of page