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UPDATING LIVE: UN General Assembly convenes emergency meeting on Gaza

09:00 (New York)

The tenth Emergency Special Session of the Assembly is expected to start at 10 AM, New York time, and as of reporting, 110 speakers are inscribed on the list.

The State of Palestine is expected to address Member States first, with Israel expected to go second.

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Emergency Special Session

Under the “Uniting for peace” landmark resolution, adopted by the General Assembly in 1950, the body can convene an “emergency special session” within 24 hours, should the Security Council “fail to exercise its primary responsibility” for the maintenance of international peace and security.

The tenth Emergency Special Session was convened for the first time in April 1997, following a request from Qatar. It followed a series of Security Council and General Assembly meetings regarding the Israeli decision to build a large housing project in an area of East Jerusalem.

The Session was last convened on 13 June 2018 to consider a draft resolution entitled “Protection of the Palestinian civilian population”.

At the end of that session, the Assembly decided to adjourn the session “temporarily and to authorize the President of the General Assembly at its most recent session to resume its meeting upon request from Member States.”

Ongoing crisis

According to several UN agencies on the ground, critical lifesaving supplies, fuels to keep hospitals running and drinking water is running out.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, the Security Council failed to adopt two resolutions on addressing the humanitarian crisis. China and Russia vetoed a United States-led draft resolution and a second Russian-backed resolution failed to secure sufficient votes in favour.

This followed failures for unity at the Council, last week. A Russian-led draft resolution calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” was voted down last Monday and the following Wednesday, the US vetoed a Brazilian-led text that urged “humanitarian pauses” to deliver aid to millions in the Gaza Strip.

 

More to follow…

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