Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha on the Security Council draft resolution on the situation in the Middle East

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November 15, 2023

Thank you, Mr. President,

We thank Malta for their efforts and their continued engagement with all the Security Council Members to come to this point.

No one needs reminding that dealing with issues of peace and security, ensuring protection of civilians and supporting peace efforts are the raison d’être of the Security Council!

And when civilians are harmed, anywhere in the world, the Council cannot stay idle.

Its inability during the past 6 weeks to find common ground on this issue, speak with one voice in condemning abhorrent terrorist acts and deliver while the humanitarian situation in Gaza has gone from bad to worse, has been particularly distressing.

The world has been watching and waiting and hoping.

Needless to say, therefore that we welcome the adoption of today’s resolution and its primary focus on International Humanitarian Law.

We voted in favor because the text, imperfect as it is, responds to critical core objectives coherent with our principled position on the issue:

It calls for the immediate release of the hostages should be released immediately and unconditionally.

It provides for extended humanitarian pauses to ensure protection of civilians, in particular children, in accordance with International Humanitarian Law, for the immediate and unhindered flow of the humanitarian aid to all those in need, as well as the protection of UN and humanitarian personnel who, let’s not forget, have paid a heavy undue price.

It is a strong message of hope and solidarity with those suffering.

We regret nonetheless that the text fails to issue a clear, strong and straightforward condemnation of Hamas and its terrorist acts.

We need to face the truth : the death toll among Palestinian civilians, including children and women is unbearable and unjustified. This death toll spiral must stop, since civilians are paying for nothing. Civilians don’t deserve to suffer, they don’t deserve to die. They need to always be protected.

But let’s not forget and lose sight that Hamas is directly responsible for the situation.

They are responsible of the choices they have deliberately made to invest in tunnels, weapons and terror instead of working for the good of the people they pretend to represent.

They have and continue to use civilians as human shields, which has always been a preferred method of warfare by terrorist organizations.

Despite this, for the sake of children and other innocent civilians and their safety, in the name of life and future, bounded by the unwavering commitment to respect international law and the protection of civilians, we voted in favor because human life should be placed above everything else.

We sincerely hope that this moment marks a turning point to start projecting convincingly a Gaza without Hamas, without terror, without war and violence, but with people, normal people who can project their future in freedom and dignity.

I thank you

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