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The lack of unity in the UN Security Council on issues related to conflicts around the world is undermining its credibility, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, speaking at the opening of the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

"The lack of unity in the UN Security Council on Russia's actions in Ukraine and Israeli military operations in Gaza, which began after the horrific Hamas terrorist attack on 7 October, has seriously - and perhaps fatally - undermined its authority," Western media quoted Guterres as saying on Monday.

According to him, the UN Security Council now often finds itself in a deadlock and is unable to make decisions on important peace and security issues. The secretary-general noted that the Security Council needs a serious reform.

Returning to the topic of the Gaza Strip, Guterres reiterated his call for a humanitarian truce and the release of Israeli hostages. He added that a full-scale Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) offensive in the city of Rafah would not only be disastrous for the Palestinian refugees sheltering there but could also put an end to UN aid programmes.

Last week, on 20 February, during the UNSC vote on 20 February, the US again scuttled a draft resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. It was the third time Washington refused to support a draft that included a truce in the enclave. The conflict between Israel and Palestinian groups from Gaza has been ongoing since October 2023.

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