The Maldives has called for the abolishing of veto powers within the UN Security Council, underlining that the world cannot pretend not to witness Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people.

Speaking on behalf of the Maldives at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, Housing Minister Ali Haidar Ahmed said it was shameful that the UN’s most powerful body, the Security Council, could be stopped from taking decisive action in Palestine due to a single vote.

“As we speak Isreal is carrying out its mass killings in Palestine… Palestinian bodies are being unearthed from mass graves… Palestinian families are being dug out from the rubble by children’s own hands… The Security Council cannot claim to be unaware of the situation on the ground in Palestine right now,” Ahmed said.

The United States had, before Palestine’s UN membership could be submitted to the General Assembly last month, vetoed it at the Security Council.

According to Ahmed, that one vote silenced the will of the 140 UN, and 12 members of the Security Council, as well as that of millions of people around the world, taking to the streets in peaceful protests, to seek justice for Palestine.

“With that one vote, the UN Security Council has failed again… With that veto, the UN Security Council has failed to stop Israel’s genocide of Palestinians,” Ahmed said.

The minister said the inhuman atrocities committed by Israel in the Palestinian territories are being recorded in the annals of history every day. Under no circumstances can we pretend that this is not happening, Haider emphasised.

He stated Israel’s crimes have become commonplace because of the Security Council’s inability to take action, with Israel having turned the veto into a weapon of genocide.

At the same time, Ahmed staunchly called on Israel to recognise Palestine as an independent state and return the occupied Palestinian lands — also encapsulating that Israel be compelled to return Palestinian lands to its people, who have been refugees since 1948.

While Palestine has lobbied for full UN members status for years, it was only granted observer status in 2012, having applied for full membership in 2011. Palestine has still not been granted full membership in the UN, mainly due to the veto.