Article 99 states that "the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall have the right to bring to the attention of the Security Council any issue that he believes may threaten world peace and security."

However, the Secretaries-General, who come through international consensus and whose selection takes into account continental diversity, do not want to appear to be in control of international issues, which must be taken care of by the States themselves, especially the great Powers that bear the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security, as they are the strongest, most capable and most affected by the destabilization of security and stability in the world.

This article was last used when former UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar convened the Security Council to discuss the crisis situation in Lebanon in 1989. The Lebanese problem was finally solved, Arably and not internationally, at the Taif Conference in 1990. However, throughout the history of the United Nations, the Secretaries-General had urged the Security Council to convene and drew the attention of its members to serious issues that they believed threatened world peace and security, but without the invocation of Article 99.

For example, former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarschult drew the Council's attention to the gravity of the Congo issue in 1960, in which Hammarscholt was killed in the 1961 crash of his plane while in Congo on an international peace mission. Former Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim also drew the attention of the Security Council to the gravity of the crisis of American hostages, who were held captive by "students walking the line of the Imam" in Iran in 1979, as he did after the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980.

The current Secretary-General, António Guterres, alerted the Security Council when the Rohingya Muslims in Burma were persecuted in 2017, committing serious human rights violations, forcing half a million Rohingya people to flee their homes in Rakhine State and fleeing on foot in the forests to Bangladesh.

This time, however, Guterres chose to invoke Article 99 in his letter to the President of the Security Council, the representative of Ecuador, José Javier Domanenguez, to urge the Council to convene urgently and call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, to avert serious repercussions of the worsening humanitarian situation there.

The reason he resorted to this article, which obliges Council members to respond to his call to convene, is that his previous appeals have not yielded any solution for the besieged population of Gaza, who live under very difficult humanitarian conditions and are subjected to daily indiscriminate shelling by the Israeli army, which has so far killed 17,<> of them, mostly women and children. When he saw the reluctance of the major Powers to take a stand that rose to the gravity of the tragedy, he wanted to push them to assume their responsibilities, to absolve himself of the human tragedy that has been going on for two months, or at least, to ease his conscience that he had done what he could to save the innocent.

Mr. Guterres is an international expert who has dealt with many humanitarian crises, even before assuming his current position in early 2017, serving as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees since 2005, which he held for ten years. Guterres has achieved many achievements in his position as High Commissioner, succeeding Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, and has worked to reform this giant organization, which employs more than 10,126 people in <> countries and provides aid to <> million people on various continents of the world.

He is credited with taking a keen interest in Iraqi refugees in 2007, describing the crisis as the worst in the Middle East since 1948. He also took a keen interest in Syrian refugees and received international funding to help them.

He has also sought in every way to draw the world's attention to the refugee tragedy, including the appointment of the well-known actress, Angelina Jolie, as his representative for refugees, who was influential in drawing attention to the tragedy of refugees around the world. Guterres is arguably the most successful UN Secretary-General to date, and the most in line with the humanitarian mission of the international organization.

Prior to becoming High Commissioner for Refugees, Guterres was leader of the Portuguese Socialist Party and then Prime Minister of Portugal from 1992 to 2002, and was chosen by a poll in Portugal as the best prime minister in 30 years. He resigned as leader of the Socialist Party and Prime Minister in 2001, when the Socialist Party failed to win local elections, and did not have to resign, as elections are about local governments, not the federal government, but he remained in office until 2002. He also served as President of the World Socialist Forum from 1999 to 2005.

The Security Council is the most powerful international authority in the world, but its work is hampered by the veto power of the permanent members of the Council - the United States, China, Britain, France and Russia - that are hindered by the veto. These countries have obtained the right of veto in accordance with Article 27 of the Charter of the United Nations, although the article never mentioned in its three paragraphs the word "veto", but stipulated that decisions should be taken by a vote of nine members in favor of the proposed resolution, and that this should take place without the opposition of any of the permanent members, which means that any objection from any of the five countries will block the adoption of the resolution.

The first veto was made by the Soviet Union (which Russia replaced in 1991) in 1946, and Russia remained the only veto state in the Security Council for ten years, until October 1956 when Britain and France used it together, on the Suez Crisis. The United States first vetoed the Rhodesia case, and Russia had vetoed it 1970 times at that date!

The country that used the veto, according to United Nations records, is the Soviet Union and its successor, Russia, which has used it 121 times so far, followed by the United States, which has used it 83 times, the last of which was on December 8, 2023, regarding the ceasefire in Gaza, and most of the United States' use of the veto was regarding the defense of Israel, according to United Nations data. Britain and France have not used their veto power since 1989, and had hitherto used it 28 times for Britain and 16 times for France. This is an indication of the decline of the global role of these two countries, but Russia is using it to demonstrate its continued international importance!

In addition to the five countries that control Security Council resolutions and thus the issues of the whole world, there are ten countries with a two-year rotating membership, selected by the United Nations General Assembly. At the current session, the Security Council is a member of the United Arab Emirates, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Brazil, Albania, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland.

The members of the Security Council are equal in their powers, but the difference is that the permanent members have the veto power, which gives them exceptional power, and can cripple the Council's decision-making capacity, if any of them use it, and then that state can block any draft resolution, even if the other fourteen members agree on it. This is what happened in the latest draft resolution, which was adopted by the United Arab Emirates, with the support of 97 other countries, as 13 members voted in favor of the resolution, Britain abstained, and the United States vetoed it.

When using the veto, the discussion usually moves to the United Nations General Assembly, which includes all recognized countries of the world, and the Assembly can take a resolution by majority, but it does not have the force of resolutions issued by the Security Council, especially if they are issued in accordance with Chapter VII, which allows the use of military force to implement it, as happened in Resolution 678 to remove Iraq from Kuwait in 1990, which was issued by a vote of 12 members, and the opposition of Cuba and Yemen, and China's abstention.

Article 49 of the Charter of the United Nations obliges all members of the international organization to provide assistance in the implementation of the measures decided by the Security Council, but usually, this obligation is not limit, as countries that are unable to provide assistance provide their justifications, and it is usual that the major powers, especially the United States, undertake the process of coordinating the implementation of the resolution, and because it is a powerful, wealthy and influential country, most countries cooperate with it, especially if the international organization bears the expenses of implementation.

The use of the veto power by the United States on the eighth of December 2023 was very strange, not in terms of its well-known support for Israel, but because of the peaceful humanitarian nature of the resolution, as it called for a ceasefire only, and it is customary for all countries to demand that the warring parties exercise restraint and ceasefire!

It can be said that the tragedy of Gaza has clearly revealed the magnitude of the contradiction and double standards of Western countries in general, and the United States in particular, which claims to seek to activate international law, protect human rights and spread democracy in the world! Israel is clearly violating international humanitarian law and this has been recognized by the whole world, including the United States, whose Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, acknowledged that "there is a gap between Israel's pledges to protect civilians and the course of the war on the ground."

There is no doubt that the tragedy of Gaza will change the course of international politics in the future, as the peoples of the world see the tragedies and collective punishment that are happening in this small spot, and see the silence of the countries that influence international decision-making, or the support of some of them for the continuation of this terrible human tragedy.