The Assembly considered two competing resolutions introduced by Canada and supported by the US and its Western allies and a Jordanian resolution supported by Arab, Muslim and several dozen countries. The Assembly rejected the Canadian resolution which sought condemnation of Hamas, with 88 in favor, 55 against and 23 abstentions while adopted the Jordanian resolution, with 120 votes in favor, 14 against and 45 abstentions.
The names on the list of abstaining countries included some unexpected names, including India (that has traditionally supported Palestine cause), Iraq, Tunisia, Ethiopia, and Albania. The resolution called for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities”; it was proposed by Jordan and backed by over 45 Member States.
It marked the first formal response of the United Nations to the escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine since the Hamas terror attacks of 7 October, after the Security Council failed on four occasions to reach consensus on any action.
Countries put forward arguments for and against the amendment, and explained their positions on the adopted resolution.
Earlier in the day, several countries took the floor, reiterating the impact of the crisis on civilians and underscoring the imperative to ensure aid finally flows into the enclave as supplies of food, water and fuel reach critically low levels.
The US declared that after the current crisis is over, “there is no going back to the status quo, as it stood on 6 October”, noting the importance of the two-State solution.
Canada’s Ambassador Bob Rae said the Assembly is meeting to show Israelis and Palestinians that any life lost is a tragedy. Yet, the critical reason for being here has been forgotten. On 7 October, Hamas wreaked terror on Israel. Since then, more that 7,000 Palestinians have been killed.
“We can see the need for a rapid response,” he said.
Unfortunately, Canada cannot support the current text, he said, adding that the Assembly cannot act without recognizing the 7 October terrorist attacks and the hostage taking.
If the proposed amendment is not adopted, the Assembly will not have recognized one of the world’s worst terrorist attacks and “we will all have to live with that failure as the tragedy continues to unfold,” he said.
In a powerful speech rebutting Canada’s explanation, Pakistan’s ambassador Munir Akram said that if Canada was being fair in its amendment it would agree to name Israel as well as Hamas.
Not naming either side was the best choice he said, as the Jordanian resolution does.
“Israel needs to be named too, if you are to be fair and equitable and just”, he said.
We all know who started this. It is 50 years of Israeli occupation and the killing of Palestinians with impunity, he said.
Israel can’t face the truth or face justice. The Israeli occupation is the original sin, not what happened on 7 October.
Today I spoke to explain Pakistan’s position in response to an amendment by Canada ahead of vote on a draft resolution in the Tenth Emergency Special UNGA Session on Palestine
— Munir Akram, PR of Pakistan to the UN (@PakistanPR_UN) October 27, 2023