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  • Human Rights Research Center

UN Secretary-General Invokes Article 99 to Urge Humanitarian Ceasefire

December 8, 2023

People search for their belongings in the rubble in the Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza. (UNRWA/Ashraf Amra)

Cited article by UN News

HRRC emphasizes the critical imperative for immediate international action in response to the deepening crisis in Gaza. Further, we appeal for urgent measures to safeguard the well-being of civilians on both sides, emphasizing the irreparable consequences of inaction for the entire region.

News Brief

In a dramatic move, UN Secretary-General António Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter, urging the Security Council to address the escalating crisis in Gaza and work towards a full humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants. This marks the first time Guterres has used Article 99 since taking office in 2017. The secretary-general highlighted the severe toll on human life in both Gaza and Israel, emphasizing the urgency to prevent further humanitarian catastrophe. He expressed deep regret over the resumption of hostilities on December 1, following a brief pause in fighting, and emphasized the appalling human suffering, physical destruction, and collective trauma endured by the population on both sides. Guterres called for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages held by militants in Gaza and condemned the reported sexual violence during the attacks. With over 15,000 reported deaths and hospitals turning into battlegrounds, he underscored the grave danger faced by civilians, particularly children. The UN chief stressed the inability to scale up humanitarian supplies, citing a severe risk of the collapse of the humanitarian system and irreversible implications for Palestinians and regional peace and security. He urgently appealed for a humanitarian ceasefire to spare the civilian population from further harm, emphasizing that such an outcome must be avoided at all costs.


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