General Assembly General Assembly

UNGA Meeting on Use of Veto

 

 Mr. President,

 

 

         I thank you for convening this plenary meeting of the General Assembly today. We take note of the adoption of UNSC resolution 2720 (2023) on 22 December 2023 aimed towards scaling up humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza and, in this regard, commend the able leadership of the United Arab Emirates in piloting this resolution in the Security Council.

 

Mr. President,

          The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has led to large scale loss of civilian lives, especially women and children, and has resulted in an alarming humanitarian crisis. This is clearly unacceptable and we have strongly condemned the death of civilians.

 

          At the same time, Mr. President, we are aware that the immediate trigger were the terror attacks in Israel on 7th October, which were shocking and deserve our unequivocal condemnation. India has a zero-tolerance approach to terrorism. There can be no justifications for terrorism and hostage taking. Our thoughts are with those who have been taken as hostages and demand their immediate and unconditional release.

 

Mr. President,

          The leadership of India is in constant touch with the leaders of the region, including those of Israel and Palestine. We have also voiced our views in multilateral fora such as G20, BRICS and Voice of Global South Summit and reiterated our long-standing and principled position on the issue. We have also called for continued humanitarian aid for the affected population and, in this regard, hope that the resolution 2720 would aid in enhancing humanitarian assistance.         

 

          India has, so far, provided 70 Tonnes of humanitarian aid including 16.5 Tonnes of medicine and medical supplies in 2 tranches to the people of Palestine. We have also provided USD 5 million, including the USD 2.5 million we provided in end December, to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) which will go to support the Agency’s core programmes and services, including education, healthcare, relief and social services provided to Palestinian refugees.

 

          The message that India has conveyed since the start of this conflict is clear and consistent - it is important to prevent escalation, to ensure continued delivery of humanitarian aid and to work towards an early restoration of peace and stability. A peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy is the only way forward.

 

Mr. President,

          I wish to conclude by reaffirming India’s firm commitment to achieving a just, peaceful and lasting solution to the Israel-Palestine issue. We firmly believe that only a Two-State solution, achieved through direct and meaningful negotiations between both sides on final status issues, will deliver an enduring peace that the people of Israel and Palestine desire and deserve. For this, we urge the parties to de-escalate, eschew violence and work towards creating conditions for an early resumption of direct peace negotiations.

 

          I thank you.