Explanation of Vote on a Resolution on the Oil Slick on Lebanese Shores

Jesse Walter
Advisor for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 18, 2020


Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

With regard to the situation in the Middle East, the United States continues to be a strong leader that has taken active steps to rebuild trust with our partners in the region by identifying their shared interests and moving them away from the conflicts of the past. Between the U.S. Vision for Peace and the Abraham Accords, we have made tangible gains in promoting peace, security, and prosperity in the Middle East. The Vision for Peace is forward-looking; it makes clear U.S. commitment to promoting a peaceful, secure, and prosperous future for the Israeli and Palestinian people.

Despite these positive steps forward, we are disappointed that this body has again taken up a number of unbalanced resolutions, including the resolution we are about to vote, that are unfairly critical of Israel, demonstrating a clear and persistent institutional bias directed at one member state. This one-sided approach only undermines trust between the parties and fails to create the kind of positive international environment critical to achieving peace.

This perennial anti-Israel resolution recycles tired, habitual rhetoric that does nothing to advance the cause of peace. Indeed, it damages UN credibility by casting into doubt the impartiality of the UN. It is deplorable that the United Nations – an institution founded upon the idea that all nations should be treated equally – should be so often used by member states to treat one state in particular, Israel, unequally.

And so, the United States will once again vote against these one-sided resolutions and encourages other nations to do so. The cause of peace will be served when the bias of the United Nations against Israel ends. The United States will continue to oppose every effort to delegitimize Israel, and we hope other members will join us by voting “no” on this resolution.

Thank you.