United Nations General Assembly Overwhelmingly Adopts Resolution Calling for an End to Violence in Gaza


Nicolas Boeglin | Pressenza - TRANSCEND Media Service

2 Nov 2023 – On 27 Oct the UNGA adopted a resolution entitled “Protection of civilians and upholding legal and  humanitarian obligations .” See which 14 countries voted against in the placard above.

In it, an immediate humanitarian truce is called for in the hostilities in Gaza, it is called for the immediate supply of electricity and water to the civilian population in Gaza, and it is required for both sides to respect international humanitarian law in the military actions they carry out in Gaza. Gaza and to protect the civilian population (see  official United Nations press release ).

Protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations 

The General Assembly, 

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, 

Recalling its relevant resolutions regarding the question of Palestine, 

Reaffirming the obligation to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law in all circumstances in accordance with article 1 of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, 

Recalling the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 452 (1979) of 20 July 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980, 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003, 1850 (2008) of 16 December 2008, 1860 (2009) of 8 January 2009 and 2334 (2016) of 23 December 2016, 

Recalling also Security Council resolutions on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, including on children and armed conflict, 

Expressing grave concern at the latest escalation of violence since the 7 October 2023 attack and the grave deterioration of the situation in the region, in particular in the Gaza Strip and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, to southern Gaza, 

Condemning all acts of violence aimed at Palestinian and Israeli civilians, including all acts of terrorism and indiscriminate attacks, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction, 

Recalling the need to uphold the principles of distinction, necessity, proportionality and precaution in the conduct of hostilities, 

Emphasizing that civilians must be protected, in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and deploring in this regard the heavy civilian casualties and widespread destruction, 

Emphasizing also the need to pursue accountability, and stressing in this regard the importance of ensuring independent and transparent investigations in accordance with international standards, 

Expressing grave concern at the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and at its vast consequences for the civilian population, largely comprising children, and underlining the need for full, immediate, safe, unhindered and sustained humanitarian access, 

Expressing strong support for the efforts of the Secretary-General and for his calls for the immediate and unrestricted access of humanitarian aid to respond to the most basic needs of the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, underlining the Secretary-General’s message that food, water, medicine and fuel need to be sustained and at scale, and expressing its appreciation for the critical role played by Egypt in this regard, 

Expressing strong support also for all regional and international efforts aimed at achieving an immediate cessation of hostilities, ensuring the protection of civilians and providing humanitarian aid,

  1. Calls for an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities; 
  2. Demands that all parties immediately and fully comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, particularly in regard to the protection of civilians and civilian objects, as well as the protection of humanitarian personnel, persons hors de combat, and humanitarian facilities and assets, and to enable and facilitate humanitarian access for essential supplies and services to reach all civilians in need in the Gaza Strip; 
  3. Also demands the immediate, continuous, sufficient and unhindered provision of essential goods and services to civilians throughout the Gaza Strip, including but not limited to water, food, medical supplies, fuel and electricity, stressing the imperative, under international humanitarian law, of ensuring that civilians are not deprived of objects indispensable to their survival; 
  4. Calls for immediate, full, sustained, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and other United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners, the International Committee of the Red Cross and all other humanitarian organizations upholding humanitarian principles and delivering urgent assistance to civilians in the Gaza Strip, encourages the establishment of humanitarian corridors and other initiatives to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians, and welcomes efforts in this regard; 
  5. Also calls for the rescinding of the order by Israel, the occupying Power, for Palestinian civilians and United Nations staff, as well as humanitarian and medical workers, to evacuate all areas in the Gaza Strip north of the Wadi Gaza and relocate to southern Gaza, recalls and reiterates that civilians are protected under international humanitarian law and should receive humanitarian assistance wherever they are, and reiterates the need to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians, in particular children, and their protection, and allowing their safe movement;
  6. Firmly rejects any attempts at the forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population; 
  7. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians who are being illegally held captive, demanding their safety, well-being and humane treatment in compliance with international law; 
  8. Also calls for respect and protection, consistent with international humanitarian law, of all civilian and humanitarian facilities, including hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as their means of transportation and equipment, schools, places of worship and United Nations facilities, as well as all of humanitarian and medical personnel and journalists, media professionals and associated personnel, in armed conflict in the region; 
  9. Stresses the particularly serious impact that armed conflict has on women and children, including as refugees and displaced persons, as well as on other civilians who may have specific vulnerabilities, including persons with disabilities and older persons; 
  10. Also stresses the need to urgently establish a mechanism to ensure the protection of the Palestinian civilian population, in accordance with international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions; 
  11. Further stresses the importance of a humanitarian notification mechanism to ensure the protection of United Nations facilities and all humanitarian facilities, and to ensure the unimpeded movement of aid convoys; 
  12. Emphasizes the importance of preventing further destabilization and escalation of violence in the region, and in this regard calls upon all parties to exercise maximum restraint and upon all those with influence on them to work toward this objective; 
  13. Reaffirms that a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved by peaceful means, based on the relevant United Nations resolutions and in accordance with international law, and on the basis of the two-State solution; 
  14. You decide to adjourn the tenth emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the President of the General Assembly at its most recent session to resume its meeting upon request from Member States.


Nicolas Boeglin is professor of international law at University of Costa Rica. Contact: nboeglin@gmail.com

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