Gaza: We are all bound by the international law

Today, the UN Security Council convened an open briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. The meeting followed the 26 January order by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case of South Africa against Israel, indicating provisional measures. Slovenia voiced its clear and strong support to the ICJ’s work and underlined that UNRWA is playing an indispensable role in the midst of the current crisis.

At the meeting, we expressed our unwavering commitment to international law including respect for and compliance with the decisions of international courts and tribunals. “Slovenia welcomes the ICJ order in the case of South Africa against Israel, indicating provisional measures. The Court’s orders are final and binding and we therefore expect and call for swift and full implementation of the order,” underscored the Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar while addressing the Council’s Chamber.

The Ambassador repeated our call for the immediate release of the hostages held in Gaza and for granting the ICRC access to them.

“Slovenia has been and will continue being a strong supporter of international law. Respect for international law and a strong international legal system are the best guarantees for maintaining international peace and security,” he added.

The situation in Gaza is desperate and our humanitarian response for the Occupied Palestinian Territory is dependent on UNRWA being adequately operational and funded. Since its inception in 1949, UNRWA has been a lifeline to millions of Palestinians in diverse areas of its assistance: education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, including in times of armed conflict. There is no viable substitute for its work in Gaza. “Its operation is Gaza in the next weeks and months is vital for the implementation of the ICJ order on provisional measures,” stated Ambassador Žbogar. 

We are appalled over allegations that some UNRWA employees allegedly were involved with the horrific Hamas attack of 7 October. Slovenia welcomes the prompt response by the Secretary General and the UNRWA Commissioner General to conduct internal and independent investigations. These allegations must be addressed and we are looking forward to the swift results of the investigations.  

In addressing the dire situation in Gaza, Ambassador Žbogar reiterared Slovenia’s position to call for an immediate ceasefire to alleviate human suffering in the region. As our Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon said last week in that very Chamber – we need unimpeded access to deliver humanitarian assistance, bring hostages home as soon as possible and devise a plan for a political solution involving two states. We need a ceasefire now, enough is enough.

Read our full statement here.

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