The United Nations Secretary-General Guterres states that the situation in Gaza is becoming increasingly dire with each passing hour.
The leader of the United Nations is visiting as the conflict in the Gaza Strip reaches its third week after Hamas militants entered Israel on October 7th and Israel declared war in response.
Last week, the UN passed a resolution urging for a ceasefire in order to provide assistance to those in need. However, in recent days, there has been intense bombing and accounts of Israeli military operations taking place in Gaza.
“I am aware that although the Middle East conflict may seem distant, it has had a significant impact on the Nepali people,” stated the United Nations leader during a media briefing on Sunday, standing alongside Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
The Secretary-General promised to keep advocating for the prompt and unconditional release of all hostages in Gaza. In addition, he sends his well wishes for the safe return of Bipin Joshi, a missing citizen of Nepal.
“He reiterated his strong denouncement of the horrific assaults carried out by Hamas. There can never be a valid excuse for the murder, harm, and abduction of innocent civilians,” he declared.
Mr. Guterres acknowledged the grave circumstances in Gaza and expressed disappointment that, rather than enacting a humanitarian ceasefire with the backing of the global community, Israel has escalated its military actions.
“The number of innocent civilians who have lost their lives and been harmed is completely unacceptable. It is crucial that all parties uphold their responsibilities according to international humanitarian law, which was created as a result of the devastating and horrific events of war,” he stated.
The Secretary-General stressed the importance of upholding international humanitarian law and reiterated that the Laws of War are in place to safeguard human life and address humanitarian issues. He emphasized that these laws cannot be twisted for the sake of convenience.
According to Mr. Guterres, over two million individuals in Gaza are facing a dire situation where they have no secure place to seek refuge and are being deprived of basic necessities such as food, water, shelter, and medical assistance. Additionally, they are enduring constant attacks.
He pleaded for those in positions of authority to refrain from escalating the situation, referring to it as a “disaster affecting human lives.”
The Secretary-General restated his request for an urgent ceasefire for humanitarian purposes, the release of all hostages without conditions, and the provision of ongoing and sufficient humanitarian aid to address the needs of the residents of Gaza.
“We need to come together and put an end to this disaster for the communities of Gaza, Israel, and all those impacted globally, including in Nepal,” he stated.
, and climate action
Nepal is dedicated to upholding the principles of multilateralism, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and taking action to address climate change.
The Secretary-General commended Nepal for its longstanding commitment to promoting peace and working together with multiple nations. They urged the global community to support Nepal as it faces numerous challenges, such as the impact of climate change, that are beyond its control.
Mr. Guterres expressed his appreciation to Prime Minister Dahal and conveyed the UN’s immense gratitude to Nepal for its endorsement of collaborative approaches, which are reinforced by its significant involvement in global peacekeeping efforts.
During the beginning of his four-day trip to Nepal, the leader of the United Nations also commended the country’s remarkable advancements in the last twenty years. This includes becoming a republic, achieving peace, and actively supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate action.
The prospect of ‘graduation’ approaching.
“There is more to expect,” stated Mr. Guterres, elaborating that “the upcoming years will be crucial as Nepal gets ready to move on from its status as a Least Developed Country.”
The Secretary-General was discussing the process, facilitated by the UN, in which the most vulnerable nations in the world can progress towards “graduation” by meeting specific criteria related to income, human assets, and economic and environmental vulnerability. This marks a significant achievement in the development journey of Least Developed Countries.
The leader of the United Nations stated that Nepal will soon begin the final phase of their peace process, which includes addressing transitional justice.
“It is imperative that transitional justice aids in bringing peace to victims, families, and communities,” he stated. He emphasized the readiness of the United Nations to assist Nepal in creating a process that adheres to international standards, the Supreme Court’s decisions, and addresses the needs of victims. The UN is also prepared to implement this process.
‘Blizzard of global crises’
The Secretary-General stated that Nepal is facing numerous global crises that it did not cause, including the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, and the significant danger of climate change.
According to him, there is a need for increased global efforts to address the climate emergency. Wealthy nations must take on a greater role in promoting sustainable development and aiding developing countries like Nepal in combatting the effects of climate change.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations acknowledged his intention to travel to the Himalayas in order to witness the devastating consequences of the climate crisis on the glaciers.
The current state is critical and worsening rapidly. In a span of thirty years, Nepal has already lost almost 1/3 of its ice. Furthermore, glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates. The devastating effects on local communities are significant, as stated by the speaker.
Keeping this in mind, Mr. Guterres expressed his intention to personally connect with individuals living in the Himalayas and listen to their firsthand experiences of the impact on their lives.
He is anticipated to visit Pokhara and Lumbini to contemplate on the teachings of peace and non-violence by Lord Buddha.
He concluded by expressing his desire to examine ways in which the United Nations and Nepal can collaborate to address issues, enhance opportunities, and enhance global assistance. While Nepal may be a friendly nation to the world, the world must reciprocate and become a stronger ally to Nepal.