After multiple efforts to find a unified response since the initial terror attacks by Hamas on 7 October and full-scale siege and incursion into Gaza by Israeli forces, the Security Council is meeting to hear a briefing by World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and by the Director General of the Palestine Red Crescent Society Marwan Jilani on the current situation on the ground.
A woman recovers in Al Hilo Hospital in Gaza City after being buried in rubble and having an emergency cesarean section.
The United Arab Emirates called for the meeting, citing “the spiraling health crisis amidst continued attacks on hospitals.”
This will be the seventh time that the Council has agreed on the current crisis since 7 October.
“We keep hoping and yearning for a united message from the Security Council to see an end to the conflict in Gaza; it hasn’t happened,” Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, told reporters at UN Headquarters earlier on Friday.
This week, the Council met privately to discuss the matter. At the same time, the General Assembly has resumed its tenth emergency special session on the crisis.
Here are the highlights from the Security Council’s last open meeting on 30 October on the deteriorating situation:
- UAE and China called for the emergency meeting after Israel expanded its ground operations into Gaza
- Philippe Lazzarini, head of UNRWA, briefed ambassadors on the dire humanitarian situation in the ravaged enclave, stressing women and children cannot be “collateral damage”
- UNICEF chief Catherine Russell outlined the impact on children on both sides who are experiencing terrible trauma, “the consequences of which could last a lifetime”
- Lisa Doughten, senior UN humanitarian official from OCHA, underscored the need for a pause in the fighting to provide respite for desperate civilians “living under unimaginably traumatic conditions”
- Security Council members recalled the General Assembly’s resolution on the crisis, reiterating that international humanitarian law must be respected, adopted on 27 October at its resumed emergency special session
Visit our explainers on how the Security Council works during a crisis and negotiates resolutions or ends up in deadlock and what is a UN General Assembly emergency special session and why it matters. Check out more of our explainers here.