The Secretary-General, Guterres, calls on the Security Council to take action on the Israel-Palestine crisis, citing it as a threat to international peace and security.
In a communication to the Council, Mr. Guterres referenced Article 99, found in Chapter XV of the Charter.
According to this statement, the leader of the UN has the authority to notify the Security Council about any issue that he believes could potentially endanger global peace and stability.
UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric stated that along with the letter, he addressed journalists and mentioned that this was the first instance in which Mr. Guterres had been motivated to utilize Chapter 99 since assuming his position in 2017.
Scale of loss
According to Mr. Dujarric, the UN leader is making this move due to the large number of casualties in Gaza and Israel within a brief period of time.
He stated that the employment of Article 99 was a significant constitutional action that Mr. Guterres aimed to use to increase pressure on the Council and the global community to call for a ceasefire between the conflicting factions.
According to Mr. Dujarric, the invocation mentioned may be considered the most crucial one. He stated at the UN Headquarters that, in his view, it is the most effective tool at the Secretary-General’s disposal.
On Wednesday morning, the letter was sent to the President of the Security Council in New York.
After the Hamas militants’ terror attacks in southern Israel on October 7th and continued bombardment and ground operations by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, the Security Council was able to pass a resolution in mid-November. This came after four unsuccessful attempts to reach a consensus, and the resolution called for immediate and prolonged humanitarian breaks.
After a week of temporary cease-fire, during which a portion of the 240 hostages held by militants in Gaza were released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, violence resumed on December 1st. This prompted the Secretary-General to express his disappointment.
‘Appalling human suffering’
Mr. Guterres wrote a letter to the president of the Council expressing his concern about the ongoing conflict, stating that it has caused immense harm and trauma for both Israelis and Palestinians over the course of eight weeks.
He emphasized the deaths of over 1,200 individuals who were brutally killed by militants on October 7th, which included 33 children. He also mentioned that 130 people are currently being held captive.
“The UN leader stated that the individuals must be promptly and unconditionally freed. The reports of sexual assault during these assaults are shocking.”
According to the speaker, as Israel continues to attack Hamas militants, civilians in the Strip are at risk and reports indicate that over 15,000 people have been killed, with children making up over 40% of the casualties.
Approximately 80% of the population in Gaza has been forced to leave their homes, with over 1.1 million people seeking shelter in facilities run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
Hospitals now ‘battlegrounds’
According to Mr. Guterres, there is currently no viable way to safeguard civilians and there is no secure location.
“I anticipate that public order will soon collapse as hospitals in Gaza have become war zones,” he stated, noting that the constant attacks have left the population without shelter or basic necessities to survive.
Referring to Council Resolution 2712 from November 15, the speaker stated that the current circumstances are hindering the ability to increase the distribution of humanitarian aid and meet the high demands of civilians, as outlined in the resolution.
He stated that they are incapable of assisting the individuals in Gaza and are at risk of the humanitarian system failing.
He stated that the repercussions of this have permanent impacts on Palestinians and the overall peace and security of the region.
‘This is urgent’
We must do everything in our power to prevent this from happening. The global community has a duty to use its influence to stop the situation from worsening and bring an end to this crisis.
I am repeating my request for a humanitarian ceasefire to be announced. This is a matter of urgency. The innocent civilians must be protected from further harm.
He emphasized that a ceasefire would provide hope for the safe and timely delivery of humanitarian aid.
The source is UN News.