Statement on the use of the veto

Statement by Ambassador Boštjan Malovrh at the General Assembly plenary meeting on the use of the veto – the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

Thank you Mr. President,

This week we mark five months of the current conflict in Gaza. It has been five months of immense suffering.

We have held meetings in this hall time and again. Security Council has met numerous times to discuss the situation in Gaza. It addressed several aspects of this crisis in details, among them: protection of civilians, particularly children and women, humanitarian access, safety and security of UN personnel, spiraling health crisis and – just last week – hunger and starvation. With every single briefing and every single distressing statistics, Slovenia’s call for ceasefire becomes stronger. Our call for alleviating the humanitarian situation and reinforcing the protection of civilians and a call for a political solution.

The call by this very Assembly has been clear. The call by global public has been clear. Slovenia therefore deeply regrets the use of veto.

Slovenia continues condemning terrorist attack by Hamas on 7th of October. We call for immediate, safe and unconditional release of hostages. We also call for full respect of international humanitarian law and human rights law. We underline our deep distress over grave violations taking place in Gaza. More than a month ago, ICJ issued an order on provisional measures. It is alarming that we have not yet seen a change in the way military operations are carried out, including in the continuing threat of imminent Israeli military ground invasion of Rafah. We urge Israel not to carry out such plans and to fully comply with the ICJ order.

We are deeply alarmed by the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and by the conditions humanitarian, medical and UN workers are facing. We call for full respect of humanitarian, notification and deconfliction mechanisms as well as to facilitate appropriate security equipment to the UN and humanitarian personnel. We are deeply concerned that humanitarian aid entering Gaza has decreased considerably, especially in the light of deteriorating humanitarian situation. We reiterate that international humanitarian law prohibits starvation of civilians as a method of warfare. Starvation amounts to war crime under international law. A scaled up, continued, sustained and safe delivery of humanitarian aid to and within Gaza should be ensured in accordance with international humanitarian law, human rights law and humanitarian principles.

In relation to this, we welcomed that General Assembly received briefing by Commissioner General of UNRWA yesterday. We have heard firsthand about trole, work and challenges faced by the agency. We reiterate that UNRWA continues to be the backbone of humanitarian response in Gaza.

Mr President,

In conclusion – only a cessation of hostilities can prevent the continuation of the current alarming scale of killing, suffering and destruction. Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and its role in addressing the crisis is clear. What we are facing in Gaza today is an unprecedented crisis that has the potential to further destabilize the wider region. All this culminates in what will be likely one of the main challenges for this Organization that our generation of diplomats will address. It is only with a strong united voice that we can tackle it.

I thank you.

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