UN chief asks Security Council to act to avert humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday asked the Security Council to act to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, said his spokesman.

In a rare move, Guterres wrote to the president of the Security Council to demand action, invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter for the first time since he became UN secretary-general in 2017.

Article 99 states, “The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”

Given the scale of the loss of human life in Gaza and Israel in such a short amount of time, the secretary-general has delivered a letter to the president of the Security Council, invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres.

In the letter, which was made available by the UN Secretariat, Guterres appealed for a humanitarian cease-fire to be declared.

“The international community has a responsibility to use all its influence to prevent further escalation and end this crisis. I urge the members of the Security Council to press to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. I reiterate my appeal for a humanitarian cease-fire to be declared,” reads the letter.

“This is urgent. The civilian population must be spared from greater harm. With a humanitarian cease-fire, the means of survival can be restored, and humanitarian assistance can be delivered in a safe and timely manner across the Gaza Strip,” it says.
UNI/XINHUA

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