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Explanation of vote on the US resolution on Gaza

Explanation of vote by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the meeting on The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

Thank you very much, Mister President.

A month after our last vote, I will repeat my words: we voted for the resolution because the killing and starving of civilians in Gaza must stop. And the suffering of hostages and their families must end. We voted in favour of the resolution because we believe it is imperative for the Security Council to send a clear message that the situation in Gaza is unacceptable.

We deeply regret the use of the veto by the Russian Federation and China.

We thank the United States for their efforts on this draft resolution. The draft offered the Council an opportunity to follow up on several harrowing briefings that we have received in the last month. The resolution didn’t include all of the elements that we would have wanted to see in the text. However it provided us an opportunity to express ourselves on a number of particularly concerning aspects of the crisis in Gaza. They include:

  • the importance of achieving an immediate and sustained ceasefire,
  • the need to release hostages,
  • a clear stance against an offensive in Rafah and its serious implications for regional peace and security,
  • the urgency of removing roadblocks to humanitarian assistance, including the need for increased provision and distribution of humanitarian aid,
  • the need for respect of international law and protection of civilians and civilian objects,
  • the need for protection of humanitarian relief and medical personnel,
  • the rejection of an attempt at territorial or demographic change of Gaza, including forced displacement and
  • the commitment of the Council to the vision of the two-State solution.

Many of these elements have been extensively elaborated during our numerous meetings and briefings on Gaza. As emphasized on those occasions, we believe in the complementarity of all efforts: bilateral, regional and those of the Council.

We therefore once again thank the leaders of Egypt, Qatar and the US for their efforts in securing a deal on the ground. Slovenia is of the view that a strong signal of support from the Council to the negotiations on the ground could provide an important impetus to the process, and bring us closer to lasting peace.

We continue condemning the terrorist attack of Hamas on 7th of October and call for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages. Hamas did set this in motion but it didn’t have to end with over 32.000 killed Palestinians, the rest of them starving and the massive violations of international humanitarian law. War with all its tragic consequences is a choice not necessity.

We underscore the need for accountability and adherence to international law.

We would like to once again express our deep concern over the statements of Israeli officials regarding resettlement of the people of Gaza and reject a possible ground invasion in Rafah.

We regret the Council was once again unable to send a clear signal on the need for this conflict to end, in order to then continue its work on the political solution and the vision of the two-State solution.

We reiterate our call for full respect of international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law, of the provisional measures of the International Court of Justice and resolutions 2712 and 2720.

The Council needs to demonstrate leadership in pursuit of peace. Slovenia will continue its engagement with all Council members to find a united voice from the Council. For Slovenian, Palestinian lives matter. For us, Israeli lives matter. This conflict must end.

Thank you.

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