5:20 a.m. ET, December 11, 2023
UNGA to resume emergency session on Gaza on Tuesday
By CNN’s Alex Stambaugh
United Nations General Assembly President Dennis Francis delivers his opening remarks at the Sustainable Development Goals Summit at the UN headquarters in New York, September 18.
Li Rui/Xinhua/Getty Images
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will resume its emergency session on the situation in Gaza on Tuesday, according to a statement from UNGA President Dennis Francis, after the United States vetoed a resolution on Friday of the UN Security Council calling for a humanitarian ceasefire.
In a letter shared by the UNGA president, representatives of Egypt and Mauritania called on Tuesday for an extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly “in our respective capacities as president of the Arab Group and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Group.”
Both representatives called for the meeting to resume, invoking UNGA Resolution 377 “United for Peace,” which states that the UNGA can meet to make recommendations when the Security Council “fails to exercise its primary responsibility to act as required for the maintenance of international peace and security.” »
“In the absence of a ceasefire and in light of continuing serious violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law, and violations of relevant United Nations resolutions… the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the Gaza Strip, has continued to deteriorate significantly,” the joint letter said.
The meeting is expected to be held Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET, according to Francis.
A little context: The United States has vetoed a UN resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the war-torn Gaza Strip, amid growing concern over civilian deaths.
Thirteen countries were in favor of the resolution, while the United States vetoed it and the United Kingdom abstained.
A draft resolution, presented by the United Arab Emirates, called for “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire”, as well as “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages” and “guaranteeing humanitarian access”, according to a draft copy.
At least 97 other countries have joined the effort, co-sponsoring the UAE-authored bill.
Friday’s vote follows U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres’ rare invocation of Article 99 of the U.N. charter, which allows him to convene a Security Council meeting on a “question likely to aggravate existing threats to the maintenance of international peace and security.”
This powerful tool has not been used since 1989.