United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has reaffirmed his commitment to advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza, despite the Security Council's failure to pass a resolution demanding an immediate end to hostilities.
Persistent Call for Ceasefire
Guterres, speaking at the Doha Forum, emphasized his determination not to relent in seeking a ceasefire in Gaza. "Last week, I delivered a letter to the president of the Security Council, invoking Article 99 of the Charter of the United Nations for the first time since I became Secretary-General in 2017," he said.
This rarely invoked article, last used in 1989, allows the Secretary-General to call a Security Council meeting to address issues threatening international peace and security. His call comes at a critical time, as Guterres warned of the collapsing healthcare system in Gaza and the potential for complete breakdown of public order.
"We are facing a severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system. The situation is fast deteriorating into a catastrophe, with potentially irreversible implications for Palestinians as a whole, and for peace and security in the region," Guterres stated.
Security Council's Failure and the Path Forward
Last Friday, the UN Security Council, hindered by a veto from the United States, failed to adopt a resolution, presented by the United Arab Emirates, which called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.
The resolution also demanded the unconditional release of all hostages and the assurance of humanitarian access. The US veto was met with strong condemnation from aid groups, who called it a "callous disregard" for human suffering and a "vote against humanity." Despite this setback, Guterres remained resolute in his appeal for peace.
"I urge the Security Council to press to avert the humanitarian catastrophe and I reiterated in my appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared. Regrettably, the Security Council failed to do it. But that does not make it less necessary. So I can promise I will not give up," he said.