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Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, Sigrid Kaag. Credit: UN Photo Manuel Elias

South Africa seeks a UN resolution to enforce the International Court of Justice ruling, which would outline enforcement steps, either from the UN Security Council or, failing that, from the whole UN General Assembly. In preparation for the Jan. 31 open debate at the UNSC on such a resolution, the UN’s new Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza Sigrid Kaag is scheduled to brief the UNSC in a closed consultation, either today or Wednesday morning, Jan. 31

Kaag was appointed by the General Assembly on Nov. 15, 2023, and she has recently been in Rafah investigating the insufficient rate of aid being allowed into Gaza. On Jan. 28, Kaag met with Egypt’s Foreign MInister Sameh Shoukry, where they reportedly discussed the need for Israel to pay heed to their obligation, under the binding order of the ICJ, to immediately provide urgent aid to Gaza. What Kaag was going to brief the UNSC on was the subject of several questions at today’s UN daily press briefing.

The matter of urgent aid was vital, even before an Israeli secret dossier alleging the employment of Hamas terrorists in the UN’s Relief and Works Administration was the basis for a New York Times article on Jan. 26—the same day that the ICJ voted up six binding orders to Israel. The UN was occupied today with trying to keep the minimal aid from UNRWA going to Gaza, to hold off a worse emergency for the 1.4 million displaced Palestinians in UNRWA’s makeshift campsites.

Spokesman for the UN Secretary General Stéphane Dujarric reported yesterday that the investigation by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) had been immediately activated, that Secretary-General António Guterres “has remained very active on this issue throughout the weekend and this morning. A few moments ago, he met with the Under-Secretary-General and head of OIOS to ensure that the investigation will be done as swiftly and efficiently as possible. Any employee involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution. And as we said, the Secretariat is ready to cooperate with a competent authority able to prosecute the individuals, in line with the Secretariat’s normal procedures for such cooperation.”

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