Lockyear slammed the United States, saying he was appalled it had repeatedly used its veto power to block the council from demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the war between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas in Gaza.

"This is not just political inaction. It has become political complicity," Lockyear said.

The U.S. has vetoed three U.N. Security Council resolutions since the start of the current fighting on Oct. 7, most recently blocking on Tuesday (February 20) a demand for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire as it instead pushes council to call for a temporary ceasefire linked to the release of hostages held by Hamas.

The United States had said it was concerned that the draft resolution it vetoed on Tuesday could jeopardize talks between the U.S., Egypt, Israel and Qatar that seek to broker a six-week pause in the war and the release of hostages.