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The President of the General Assembly denounces the appalling and unacceptable state of affairs in Gaza as "catastrophic, unconscionable, and shameful."
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The President of the General Assembly denounces the appalling and unacceptable state of affairs in Gaza as “catastrophic, unconscionable, and shameful.”


  • On February 20th, the United States’ use of veto was discussed at the General Assembly. The president of the world body expressed that the current state in Gaza is catastrophic, unconscionable, and shameful.

  • The president of the General Assembly emphasized the urgent need for a ceasefire, stating that it is crucial to quickly and significantly ramp up humanitarian efforts and guarantee unimpeded access to all civilians requiring assistance.
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    The representative from the United States stated that their delegation is currently working on a revised resolution.

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    The persistent humanitarian condition in Gaza was strongly condemned by Member States.

  • The ten temporary members of the Security Council expressed disappointment over the veto by the United States, stating that the council as a whole must fulfill its duties.

  • The Assembly will convene at 3:00 PM for an informal meeting, during which Philippe Lazzarini, leader of the UN agency for Palestine refugees, will provide a briefing.

  • To view recaps of United Nations gatherings, check out our partners at the UN Meetings Coverage in both English and French languages.

Internally displaced Palestinian children shelter in Rafah in southern Gaza.

Palestinian children who have been displaced internally are currently taking refuge in Rafah, located in the southern region of Gaza.

12:50 PM

Stop the mass killing in Gaza, Iran.

Ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani, representing Iran, stated that history will assess the impact of the US veto. The severity of the crisis in Gaza has drawn the focus of the global community, with Israel using starvation as a tactic in warfare.

Ambassador Amir Saied Iravani of Iran.

Ambassador Amir Saied Iravani of Iran.

He spoke out against the Council’s lack of response, stating that it has allowed for deadly actions to be taken. He denounced the latest assault on Palestinians in search of assistance on Thursday, near Gaza City, that resulted in over 100 deaths.

He urged for an urgent stop in the fighting in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and stated that the US denying the adoption of the Algerian draft resolution is going against the worldwide call to cease hostilities.

He asserted the need for international laws to safeguard civilians and emphasized the importance of a ceasefire to prevent the people of Gaza from starving.

Similarly, all temporary actions introduced at the end of January by the global court, known as the ICJ, must be put into effect. Given the current deadlock within the Council, he stated that it is necessary for Member States to take measures to stop the occurrence of genocide in Gaza.

12:24 PM

The ongoing suffering in Gaza must come to an end.

The UK Ambassador, Barbara Woodword, stated that the pain in Gaza must come to an end and cannot persist.

Ambassador Barbara Woodward of the United Kingdom.


The photo is credited to UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

Barbara Woodward, the UK Ambassador.

Last week, the UK and Jordan airdropped tonnes of lifesaving aid to the Tal Al-Hawa Hospital in northern Gaza and announced $5.4 million in additional financing to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to support more than 100,000 women and girls in the enclave, she said.

Ms. Woodward called for an urgent investigation into the deaths of people waiting for aid at a convoy last week, which she said must not happen again.

She emphasized that the insufficient aid supplies in February cannot be disconnected from the events that occurred. She pointed out that in comparison to January, only half as many trucks entered Gaza.

She stated that the recent tragedy highlights the crucial need to quickly end the conflict and establish a lasting and sustainable peace.

She stated that the talks facilitated by Egypt, Qatar, and the US are the sole path to secure crucial assistance on the necessary level and to release the captives currently under the control of Hamas. This agreement would provide a foundation for attaining a durable truce and enduring peace.

12:05 PM

The members of the elected Council express regret over exercising a veto.

Speaking on behalf of “E-10”, the 10 elected members of the Security Council, Ambassador Vanessa Frazier of Malta said that the draft resolution that was vetoed on 20 February was a “carefully crafted” text addressing the situation on the ground in a comprehensive manner.

Ambassador Vanessa Frazier of Malta addresses the UN General Assembly.

UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Maltese Ambassador Vanessa Frazier speaks at the United Nations General Assembly.

“We are disappointed that the vetoed text did not receive the support of all E-10 nations,” she stated.

“We, as elected officials, strongly believe that the Council has a duty and responsibility to take decisive action when confronted with such circumstances,” she stated, expressing the group’s alarm regarding the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Ms. Frazier mentioned the crucial role of UNRWA, the United Nations agency that aids Palestinian refugees, in ensuring an efficient humanitarian effort.

“The employees have persisted in fulfilling that duty, despite the dangerous circumstances,” she stated, emphasizing the adverse effects of the war on innocent civilians, especially women and children.

In addition, she remembered the recent decisions made by the Security Council regarding the situation, as well as the order given by the International Court of Justice on 26 January.

She highlighted the significance of safeguarding civilians and stated that all involved parties must adhere to their responsibilities as outlined in international law, including laws pertaining to humanitarian aid and human rights.

In summary, she stressed the significance of the solution involving two separate states.

More than 80 UNRWA schools have been directly hit or damaged across the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war.

Over 80 UNRWA schools in Gaza have been damaged or struck during the ongoing conflict.

11:30 AM


The European Union backs the ongoing discussions between

Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) Stavros Lambrinidis stressed the crucial importance of putting an end to the ongoing civilian suffering and avoiding any more loss of life in Gaza.

He strongly endorsed the efforts of the US, Qatar, and Egypt to reach a deal on freeing hostages and implementing a temporary ceasefire, as the loss of lives has already been too great and many more are at risk.

He stated that Hamas should release all hostages promptly and without any conditions.

Ambassador Lambrinidis expressed the regional bloc’s significant worry about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and emphasized the urgency of enhancing land-based access to aid.

He expressed worry about the potential for a ground operation in Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians are seeking shelter from the conflict, and emphasized the importance of upholding international law and humanitarian laws by all parties involved.

He stated that there should be consequences for any breaches of global laws by any parties involved.

11:20 AM

The Arab Group strongly objects to the impasse in the Security Council.

The Arab Group expresses disapproval of the stalemate in the Security Council.

“Abdullah Ali Fadhel Al-Saadi, Yemen’s Ambassador and permanent representative to the UN, spoke on behalf of the Arab Group about the Security Council’s failure to fulfill its responsibilities and prevent violent conflict in the Gaza Strip. This failure is a shameful mark on both the Council and humanity.”

Ambassador Abdullah Ali Fadhel Al-Saadi of Yemen.

UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The ambassador representing Yemen is Abdullah Ali Fadhel Al-Saadi.

He expressed disappointment at a Security Council member using veto power, despite the draft resolution being inclusive and prioritizing humanitarian efforts to protect the thousands of Palestinians in need.

“He stated that this has enabled the Israeli military to carry out massacres against innocent Palestinian civilians. He listed the toll of the war on civilians, particularly women and children, and the severe humanitarian crisis.”

He stated that the ongoing “illegal activities” necessitated the General Assembly and UN Member States to seriously contemplate feasible actions to cease this chaotic behavior and end the loss of Palestinian lives.

He stated that the Arab Group is requesting the international community and Security Council to ensure the safety of civilians, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid without any hindrance, and abide by Security Council resolutions 2712 and 2720 at a wider scale.

Aid is distributed to displaced Palestinian families sheltering at an UNRWA school-turned-shelter in Deir  Al-Balah in central Gaza in December. (file)

© UNRWA/Ashraf Amra

In December, aid was provided to Palestinian families who were forced to leave their homes and are now staying at a shelter converted from a UNRWA school in the central Gaza area of Deir Al-Balah. (file)

11:13 AM

The draft proposal, which was vetoed by Qatar, goes against the principles outlined in the UN Charter.

The Gulf Cooperation Council’s Ambassador, Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani from Qatar, represented their group and discussed the draft resolution, which aimed to address the current aggression by Israeli occupation forces that has led to the most severe humanitarian crisis in recent times.

Ambassador Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani of Qatar.

UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Qatari Ambassador Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani.

According to UN reports, the number of victims has exceeded 30,000 and continues to increase. Tens of thousands more are wounded or missing under the rubble. The majority of victims are women and children, with a total of two million people being internally displaced.

She expressed disappointment that the UN Security Council did not pass a resolution for an immediate ceasefire, even though 13 members voted in favor of it. The Gulf Cooperation Council reaffirmed their sorrow for this outcome.

This was a departure from the previous obligation outlined in the UN Charter’s introduction to prevent future generations from experiencing the devastation of war.

10:51 AM

Israel demands prerequisites for ceasefire to be established.

According to Gilad Menashe Erdan, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, it has been 150 days since Hamas carried out “the most savage and cruel massacre since the Holocaust.”

Ambassador Gilad Erdan of Israel.

UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Elected Representative of Israel, Gilad Erdan.

“Once more, the General Assembly has gathered not to denounce Hamas, but rather to solely address the situation in Gaza. This disregards the events of 7 October and the 134 individuals who are currently being held and mistreated as hostages in Gaza,” he stated.

During the five-month period, he observed that there was no discussion in the Assembly regarding the well-being of hostages or the sexual violence committed by the group.

Mr. Erdan urged the Secretary-General and the Security Council to promptly gather and publicly denounce the despicable actions of Hamas.

He emphasized the importance of putting constant pressure on Hamas to put an end to their sexual violence and promptly release all of the hostages.

10:22 AM

Palestine: The actions of Israel are out of control and unconstrained.

According to Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine, there is no more significant threat to global peace and security than the commission of heinous acts. He also stated that for the past five months, Israel has been carrying out such atrocities against the Palestinian people without restraint.

Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations.

Evan Schneider captured the photo for the United Nations.

Riyad Mansour serves as the Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations.

The speaker stressed that the Security Council has been unable to urge an urgent halt to the ongoing violence, which is causing great harm to Palestinian civilians, particularly children. He demanded an end to the “war of atrocities.”

He stated that Israel needs to be instructed to stop the hostilities immediately.

According to Mr. Mansour, there were contributing factors that made ethnic cleansing feasible in Palestine.

“He expressed concern over the perpetrators’ belief that they will not face consequences, and demanded that Israeli impunity come to an end.”

He emphasized the need to end the time of Israeli being able to escape consequences, and to transition to a time of responsibility and consequences through sanctions.

An aerial view of the heavily damaged and collapsed buildings in Gaza City.

© UNRWA/Ashraf Amra

A birds-eye view of the extensively destroyed and fallen structures in Gaza City.

10:19 AM

I am currently working on a revised version of the resolution.

According to Robert A. Wood, the United States Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, the current draft resolution would not have successfully accomplished the goal of sustainable peace or lead to a ceasefire.

Deputy Permanent Representative Robert A. Wood of the United States.

Deputy Permanent Representative Robert A. Wood of the United States.

Although their delegation had warned the Security Council about the possible consequences, the US has put forth a proposed document that could potentially interrupt the ongoing efforts to release hostages and establish a brief ceasefire. This proposal aims to facilitate the return of hostages to their families and provide much-needed aid to Palestinian civilians in need.

He stated that the task at hand is determining the most efficient means to accomplish these objectives. He believes that the work of the United States, both in New York and in the field, is the best approach.

He stated that Washington will persist in obtaining additional assistance and participating actively in face-to-face diplomacy and talks on the field.

He stated that we are dedicated to participating in productive discussions about our resolution in the upcoming days.

10:15 AM

The President of the General Assembly urges for a halt in hostilities.

Francis, the President of the General Assembly, stated that since 1945, the United Nations and the Security Council have the primary responsibility of protecting future generations from war. He urged the international community to take immediate action to resolve the crisis in Gaza.

General Assembly President Dennis Francis.

UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Dennis Francis, President of the General Assembly.

He expressed his dismay at the current state in Gaza, referring to it as catastrophic, unconscionable, and shameful. He was shocked and appalled by the deaths and injuries of hundreds of individuals while aid supplies were being distributed west of Gaza City last week.

Unfortunately, this situation has resulted in a continually increasing number of fatalities, tragic deaths of infants due to malnutrition, and the unsettling reality that 85% of Gaza’s inhabitants (equivalent to 1.9 million individuals) have been forcefully uprooted from their homes.

The speaker is extremely worried about the upcoming Israeli ground operations in Rafah, which is now home to almost 1.5 million people. They are pleading for everyone to exercise self-control in order to prevent harm to innocent civilians.

The limitations imposed by Israel on humanitarian aid have greatly decreased the amount of crucial assistance entering Gaza. According to reports from UNRWA, there has been a notable 50% decline in the number of trucks entering Gaza daily between January and February.

He emphasized the urgent need to significantly expand humanitarian efforts and guarantee unimpeded entry for all vulnerable individuals.

The top priority is to establish a humanitarian ceasefire right away, and all involved parties must adhere to their responsibilities according to international human rights and humanitarian laws. This is especially crucial for safeguarding civilians and their facilities.

Furthermore, it is imperative that all hostages are promptly and without condition liberated, and that those in need have complete and unhindered access to humanitarian aid.

Discussion about the implementation of a veto decision.

The Assembly will discuss the recent Council refusal to pass a proposed resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza. This decision was made through a process that investigates the use of veto power in the Security Council, which could lead to an emergency special session being called. Find out more about what occurs when the Security Council cannot come to a consensus, as well as emergency special sessions, in our explanation.

Security Council deadlock

The Security Council has been in a stalemate for weeks regarding the approval of a resolution to bring an end to the conflict. This war has resulted in the death of over 30,000 Palestinians and has left hundreds of thousands suffering from extreme hunger. The US has blocked multiple versions of the resolution since the beginning of the war. The Council’s five permanent members (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States) have the authority to use a veto.

During the weekend, the Security Council released a statement urging for prompt measures to increase the delivery of aid to the enclave, particularly to the heavily affected northern area.

According to reports from the media, the incident occurred after Israel organized aid deliveries for hungry Palestinians last Thursday, resulting in fatalities.

The statement from the Council of 15 members expressed great worry over reports of a deadly incident involving Israeli forces at a gathering near Gaza City, resulting in over 100 deaths and hundreds of injuries, some from gunshots.

Media sources stated that on a Saturday, a comparable assault by Israel on Gaza’s inhabitants seeking aid caused multiple fatalities and injuries.

UNRWA will update the General Assembly.

Later today, the General Assembly will receive a report from Philippe Lazzarini, the director of the UN agency responsible for aiding Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). He will provide an update following his letter to Assembly President Dennis Francis last week.

The UNRWA director stated in the correspondence that due to budget reductions resulting from Israel’s accusations of agency employees being involved in the October attacks by Hamas, the agency will soon be unable to carry out its responsibilities.

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