Statement by H.E. Ambassador YAMAZAKI Kazuyuki, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations and UNSC President for March, at the Security Council EOV after the vote on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”

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March 22, 2024

Over 5 months have passed since Hamas’s horrifying acts of terror took place in Israel, which has led to the unfolding of the tragedies the world has been witnessing in Gaza.

At least 32,000 Palestinians have been reportedly killed by Israel in Gaza, most of them, women and children.   Famine is on the brink, and a looming Israeli military offensive into Rafah only threatens to deepen the humanitarian catastrophe. This should not proceed under any circumstances.

Given the gravity of the situation on the ground, Japan voted in favor of this draft resolution. We deeply regret that it failed to be adopted. Japan appreciates the tireless efforts of the United States in consulting with all Council members throughout the negotiation process.

Had it been adopted, this resolution could have pushed forward ongoing vigorous diplomatic efforts, in particular “the 4-party talks”, towards an immediate and sustained ceasefire and the release of hostages. We believed that this would be a pragmatic approach to improve the humanitarian situation on the ground.

Although we were unable to adopt the resolution, the Council must put pressure on the parties to conclude a deal as soon as possible. Those in Gaza and beyond cannot wait another day.

I thank you.

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