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Council For International Development Supports UN Resolution Calling For Immediate Ceasefire In Gaza

The Council for International Development (CID) Aotearoa New Zealand supports the resolution adopted at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday 13 December, demanding “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.”

New Zealand was one of the 153 member countries who voted in favour of adopting the resolution which also calls for “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access”. The resolution reiterates its earlier demand for all parties to “comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, notably with regard to the protection of civilians.”

Earlier that day, the New Zealand Government released a joint statement with Australia and Canada expressing their concern for the crisis, and their support for the resumption of a humanitarian pause and urgent international efforts towards a sustainable ceasefire.

Since late October, CID and many of our members have been calling on the New Zealand Government for a ceasefire, de-escalation of the conflict and protection of civilians.

“It is encouraging to see New Zealand and partners to now push for a humanitarian ceasefire in the region. However, we cannot underestimate the dire need of the civilian population in Gaza”, Executive Director Peter Rudd states. “According to OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) around 100 children are being killed every day. The New Zealand Government and other stakeholders must continue to call for a peaceful and sustainable resolution to this conflict, while supporting civilian populations with urgent humanitarian aid.”

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CID continues to be deeply concerned by the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza since the October 7 attack, when Hamas fighters killed around 1200 Israelis and captured 240 hostages. Since initiation of the conflict, over 18,000 Palestinians have been killed with over 70% of deaths being women and children. The conflict has seen a record number of humanitarian workers killed, including 134 United Nations Relief and Works Agency staff (UNRWA). Just this week, a Save the Children staffer and family were killed in an airstrike.

There are huge shortages of food, clean water, medical supplies, sanitation services and shelter. An estimated 9 in 10 people in Gaza cannot eat every day. Compounding the crisis is the crippling public health system, under immense strain with spread of disease rapidly intensifying. There are 360,000 cases of infectious diseases reported in shelters. Urgent and increased humanitarian aid into Gaza is imperative to address the growing needs of the civilian population.

Since the initiation of conflict on October 7, CID has been calling for the protection of all civilian populations and humanitarian workers according to humanitarian law and principles, as well as rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access into Gaza. CID continues to call all parties to work towards a permanent ceasefire, a de-escalation of the conflict and the Middle East Peace Process.

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