New York City – On Dec. 13, 2023, the UN General Assembly during an “Emergency Special Session” on the crisis in Palestine-Israel, voted 153 to 10 in favor of a resolution calling for an “‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and ‘ensuring humanitarian access’”. There were 23 abstentions. This came after the U.S. vetoed a UN Council Resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza on Dec. 9. 

The Charity & Security Network (C&SN) supports an immediate ceasefire, as it is the only way to safely and effectively deliver unfettered life-saving humanitarian aid and medical supplies to innocent civilians in Gaza. C&SN previously signed on to a letter in October joining more than 500 organizations urging that a ceasefire be implemented. This was just days after the UN Humanitarian Coordinator to the Occupied Palestinian Territory appealed to all parties to the conflict, and to Member States with influence, to urgently agree to a humanitarian ceasefire.

As the conflict continues into its third month, more than 17,000 Gazans have been reported killed – including thousands of women and children – and there has been widespread destruction of homes, infrastructure, and “massive displacement the population” of Gaza. A ceasefire is the only hope that some level of life-saving aid can begin to reach those in need. 

The key elements of the resolution include:

  • An immediate humanitarian ceasefire; 
  • demanding compliance international law and including international humanitarian law;
  • ensuring protection of civilians;
  • the “immediate and unconditional release of all hostages”;
  • ensuring humanitarian access.

The General Assembly will resume the emergency session on Friday, Dec. 15 to continue the discussions around the crisis.