UNSC adopts first resolution since escalation calling for pauses in Gaza for 'sufficient days'

2023-11-17 09:03:58Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The United Nations Security Council has finally adopted a resolution calling for "urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors" in Gaza for "a sufficient number of days" to allow full, rapid, safe and unhindered access for UN agencies and partners.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at Thursday's press briefing that as the rotating presidency, China actively promotes the Security Council to take meaningful, responsible actions.

China will continue to strengthen coordination with all parties, build consensus, and play a constructive role in promoting a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, protecting civilians, alleviating the humanitarian situation, and ultimately achieving a lasting and peaceful solution between Palestine and Israel through the "two-state solution," Mao said.

China's permanent representative to the UN Zhang Jun called for implementation of the resolution on Wednesday local time.

The "sufficient number of days" of pauses and corridors means facilitating the continuous, sufficient and unhindered provision of essential goods and services throughout Gaza, including water, electricity, fuel, food, and medical supplies, as well as emergency repairs to essential infrastructure; and enabling urgent rescue and recovery efforts, including for missing children in damaged and destroyed buildings, and the medical evacuation of sick or injured children and their caregivers, per the resolution.

"The effectiveness of Security Council resolutions lies in their implementation… It is necessary for the Security Council to establish a necessary mechanism to take follow-up actions to monitor and report on the implementation, Zhang said in an explanation of the vote after the adoption of the Maltese-drafted resolution.

Resolution 2712 can only serve as a first step based on minimum consensus. Despite this, the resolution is still significant as it constitutes an initial step toward a ceasefire and a minimum requirement to save lives, and helps avert a greater humanitarian crisis and catastrophe, Zhang said.

Resolution 2712 was the first product of the Security Council on Gaza after the October 7 escalation, with 12 members voting in favor, none against and three abstentions (Russia, the UK and the U.S.). The council had failed to adopt four draft resolutions on the situation in a row.

Although the resolution was a primary move, it is very important and a sign of international consensus on the urgency and right approach to addressing the dire and worsening humanitarian disaster in Gaza, Chinese analysts said, as the "sufficient number of days" is a sign of progress in comparison to the "pauses of unspecified time and length" Israel earlier promised.

However, the international community should closely watch whether the resolution can be implemented and monitor the following situation in Gaza so as to take action accordingly in a timely manner, analysts said.

Israeli forces on Wednesday raided the Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza's main hospital, after hours of bombarding the medical facility, which is full of thousands of patients and sheltering civilians. Israel claimed Hamas has set up its command center in and beneath the hospital, which both Hamas and hospital staff denied, according to media reports.

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