Israel/OPT: UN Security Council must not block Gaza ceasefire resolution

Appeal to UK, USA and other Security Council members to back ceasefire resolution after Antonio Guterres ‘rings alarm bell’ by invoking Article 99 of UN Charter

Amnesty head set to meet Anthony Blinken today

‘The Security Council must play the role for which it was established’ - Agnès Callamard

The UK, the USA and other members of the Security Council must support as a matter of urgency a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire by all parties in Gaza and Israel, said Amnesty International, a day after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged the council to declare a ceasefire. 

Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard, who is due to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken today, said:

“Every minute we wait, people are dying and the risks to global peace are multiplying. We simply don’t have the time for procrastination or political posturing.
  
“By invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter - an extraordinary move - the UN Secretary-General is sounding the alarm and conveying to the world, in the strongest terms, deep concern over the catastrophic and likely irreversible impact of Israel’s relentless bombardment of the Occupied Gaza Strip. 
 
“He is ringing an alarm bell that must be heeded. There must be an urgent and binding UN Security Council resolution for an immediate ceasefire. 

“The US and all other members of the UN Security Council must act now to stop the unimaginable suffering in Gaza, and to ensure that the conflict does not further spiral out of control - setting ablaze the Middle East region and spreading far beyond.  

“Selective application of international law must end. The US and all other members of the UN Security Council have a clear obligation under international law to prevent atrocities. 

“There can be no justification for continuing to block meaningful action by the UN Security Council to stop massive civilian bloodshed, the complete collapse of the humanitarian system and even worse horrors resulting from the breakdown of public order and massive displacement. 

“The Security Council must play the role for which it was established.”

Rare move from Secretary-General

Yesterday, in a rare move, Antonio Guterres sent a letter to the UN Security Council invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter to call for a ceasefire, warning of “a severe risk of a collapse of the humanitarian system” and a catastrophe with “potentially irreversible implications for Palestinians as a whole, and for peace and security in the region”. Article 99 is a provision in the UN Charter that allows the Secretary-General to “bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security”. The last time Article 99 was explicitly invoked was in 1989 in relation to the conflict in Lebanon, and the UN Security Council ordered a ceasefire. 

View latest press releases