(Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a rare move on Wednesday to formally warn the Security Council of a global threat from the Gaza war as Arab states seek to use this alert to push the council to call for a ceasefire within days.
The United Arab Emirates gave the council a brief draft resolution, seen by Reuters, that would act on the letter from Guterres by demanding an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas.
Diplomats said the UAE aims to put the text to a vote on Friday when the council is due to be briefed by Guterres on Gaza. To be adopted, a resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the five permanent members - the United States, Russia, China, France or Britain.
Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Robert Wood, said the United States does not support any further action by the Security Council at this time.
"However, we remain focused on the difficult and sensitive diplomacy geared to getting more hostages released, more aid flowing into Gaza, and better protection of civilians," Wood told Reuters.
The United States and ally Israel oppose a ceasefire because they believe it would only benefit Hamas. Washington instead supports pauses to protect civilians and allow for the release of hostages taken by Hamas in a deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
"The UAE draft resolution has the support of the Arab and OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) group. This is a moral and humanitarian imperative and we urge all countries to support the call of the Secretary-General," the UAE mission to the U.N. posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour said Arab ministers would discuss the draft Security Council resolution with U.S. officials during a visit to Washington this week.
"On top of the agenda is this war has to stop," he told reporters as Arab U.N. ambassadors stood with him. "A ceasefire has to take place and it has to take place immediately."