On Friday, Dec. 15, the UN General Assembly continued its emergency session in regard to resolution 377A authored by Egypt and Mauritania, which called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The initial hearing and vote was on Tuesday, Dec. 12, resulting in an overwhelming approval of the resolution by 153-10 with 23 abstentions, but another session was required to finish all the statements from the UN representatives. First to speak on Dec. 15 was China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun, who levelled harsh criticism against the U.S. in particular, while not naming it explicitly, in an uncharacteristically strong way for the Chinese.
Zhang called for the full and effective implementation of a ceasefire as specified by the resolution. He spoke of how he and other UN envoys had visited the Rafah crossing to Gaza and governorate capital Al Arish in Egypt. He described the situation in Gaza as having reached a point that “no words can describe,” he said, adding that it was “way beyond the pale of human conscience, beyond the pale of the UN Charter, beyond the pale of international law.”
Zhang continued, saying that over the recent days, the UN Security Council has been prevented from approving even the most basic appeals for a ceasefire. We are witnessing “stark, naked double standards, and hypocrisy of the most authentic order,” he said. “Moral superiority-charged slogans about human rights, humanitarianism, and protection of women and children and what have you, which some people used to glibly spout, have now taken an absurd twist all of a sudden. Their mantras about the need to punish war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity are now failing to cross their lips. Even the most basic ceasefire has become a bitter pill too unpalatable for them to swallow, something they scramble to skirt around or steer clear of.”