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UN General Assembly Overwhelmingly Passes Resolution for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza

General Assembly adopting a resolution on “Protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations.” UN Photo Loey Felipe

The 193-member UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly today, 155-10, with 23 abstentions, to approve the four-point resolution drafted by the governments of Egypt and Mauritania calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The two countries invoked resolution 377A, which states that if the UN Security Council fails to carry out its responsibilities to protect international peace and security, the UNGA can step in and make recommendations. The resolution is non-binding, but coming when it does, as Israel continues to slaughter Palestinians and has turned Gaza into “a living hell,” it carries international weight.

The vote followed a very hard-hitting speech by UN General Assembly President Francis Dennis (Trinidad and Tobago), who described the “carnage” taking place in Gaza and demanded that the situation be assessed “with honesty in our hearts … a ceasefire is the only realistic first step” toward finding a solution to this crisis, he said. The “bloodshed and psychological terror” must end. Otherwise, “the continued conflict will lead to a full-fledged war. More than 18,000 people are dead … a child dies every 10 minutes. What are we waiting for?”

Dennis was followed by Egypt’s UN Ambassador Osama Mahmoud Abdelkhalek Mahmoud, who said the majority of the international community were aware of the seriousness of the situation and its implications: “The perpetration of this destructive war will lead to a full-fledged catastrophe. This will unfortunately mean that genocide will be used as a tool for war, completely disregarding international law. This will lead the region to a full-fledged war, and it will jeopardize the credibility of this international organization.”

Entitled “Protection of Civilians and Upholding Legal and Humanitarian Obligations,” the resolution states:

“Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

“Recalling its resolutions regarding the question of Palestine,

“Recalling also all relevant Security Council resolutions,

“Taking note of the letter dated 6 December 2023 from the Secretary-General, under Article 99 of the Charter of the United Nations, addressed to the President of the Security Council,

“Taking note also of the letter dated 7 December 2023 from the Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the President of the General Assembly,

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