04 Mar 2024

Mr President,



          We thank you for convening this debate on the use of the veto under Plenary agenda item 63. We regret very much that we are meeting for the second time this year under this agenda item, to discuss yet another veto cast by a permanent member of the Security Council. Singapore aligns with the statement delivered by Liechtenstein, and would like to make the following additional points in our national capacity.



2        We are disappointed that the Security Council was again unable to reach agreement on an urgently needed response to the conflict in Gaza. The Council’s inability to find a diplomatic solution may mean even more dire consequences for the population of Gaza, over 30,000 of whom have reportedly been killed. We have condemned the horrific acts of terror of Hamas on 7 October 2023. We have demanded, and continue to demand, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. Meanwhile, the human costs of the Gaza crisis continue to escalate, and tensions elsewhere in the Middle East are growing. This could become a wider regional conflict. The Security Council, which has been charged with the responsibility of maintaining peace and security, must not remain paralysed by inaction in the face of this grave crisis.



3        We are particularly concerned that the veto was used to block a draft resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire; compliance with international law, including international humanitarian law; and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. These are all actions that the General Assembly has supported with an overwhelming majority, as reflected in the 153 YES votes for the resolution titled “Protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations” adopted here in the General Assembly at its Emergency Special Session on 12 December 2023. We are therefore glad that the veto initiative provides this important opportunity to hear directly from the Security Council members, on how the Council envisages achieving these humanitarian goals.



4        We thank Algeria, the proponent of the draft resolution for its tireless efforts in seeking a solution to the crisis and in presenting a draft that sought to garner the widest possible consensus. We also take this opportunity to commend the vital assistance being provided by many United Nations agencies, under extremely difficult circumstances. We too, as Singapore, have provided humanitarian assistance to the affected population in Gaza.



Mr President,



5        The catastrophic situation in Gaza demands urgent action. We therefore reiterate the urgent call of A/RES/ES-10/22 for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, and urge all member states, and all permanent members of the Security Council, to avoid politicising this tragedy. We also call on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take the initiative, and embark on the difficult but necessary steps to end the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A negotiated two-state solution in line with the relevant Security Council resolutions is the only viable basis for a durable, just and comprehensive solution that will allow both Palestinians and Israelis to live in the peace, security and dignity that they both deserve.



6        I thank you very much for your attention.


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