UN General Assembly meets Tuesday to discuss Gaza|Arab News Japan

UNITED NATIONS, United States: The UN General Assembly will meet on Tuesday to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, officials and diplomats said Sunday, after the United States last week vetoed a Security Council resolution for a ceasefire.

A special meeting of the General Assembly has been called for Tuesday afternoon by the representatives for Egypt and Mauritania “in their respective capacities as Chair of the Arab Group and Chair of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation,” a spokesperson for the Assembly president said.

According to diplomatic sources, the General Assembly, whose resolutions are nonbinding, could vote on a text for a ceasefire resolution at the meeting.

A draft of the text seen by AFP closely follows the language of Friday’s vetoed Security Council resolution, “expressing grave concern over the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.”

It calls for “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire” as well as the “immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.”

On Friday the United States blocked the ceasefire resolution which came after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called an emergency meeting of the Security Council, deploying the rarely-used Article 99 of the UN Charter to bring to the council’s attention “any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”

The body’s “authority and credibility” have been “severely undermined” by its delayed response to the war, Guterres said afterward.

At the end of October, in another of its resolutions, the General Assembly called for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities” between Israel and Hamas.

Two weeks later the Security Council broke its silence on the war for the first time by calling for “extended pauses and humanitarian corridors” — using less clear language than a ceasefire or a truce.

AFP

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