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Cook Islands supports UN resolution on Gaza ‘truce’

Wednesday 1 November 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in National


Cook Islands supports UN resolution on Gaza ‘truce’
FILE - A Palestinian man cries while holding a dead child who was found under the rubble of a destroyed building following Israeli airstrikes in Nusseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip on Oct. 31, 2023. In just 25 days of war, more than 3,600 Palestinian children have been killed in Gaza, according to Gaza's Hamas-run Health Ministry. The advocacy group Save The Children says more children were killed in Gaza in October 2023 than in all conflict zones around the world combined in 2022. (AP Photo/Mohammed Dahman, File)

Cook Islands supports the United Nations (UN) resolution for an ‘immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce’ between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in Gaza.

The Cook Islands Government stands firmly with the UN member states that have voted in favour of the resolution, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The motion put forward by Jordan at the UN general assembly in New York on Friday was passed by 120 votes to 14, with 45 countries abstaining.

On Monday, Cook Islands News asked the Prime Minister’s Office for the country’s stance on the resolution and its comments on the “no vote” from several Pacific Island countries that will attend next week’s Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Rarotonga.

Fiji, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Tonga voted against a UN resolution while Australia, Kiribati, Palau, Tuvalu and Vanuatu abstained. Samoa remained silent. New Zealand and Solomon Islands voted in favour.

MFAI said: “The Cook Islands expresses deep concern and compassion for those affected by the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza. The armed escalation in response to the terror attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas has led to immense suffering; while we recognise Israel’s right to defend itself, we also urgently call for a peaceful resolution, with the utmost priority being the well-being and security of all those impacted by this crisis.”

“The use of violence and the loss of civilian lives on both sides can never be condoned, and we call for an immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce that leads to a cessation of hostilities from all parties involved. The suffering caused by this conflict is immeasurable, and our unwavering belief is in the necessity of peace through dialogue.”

MFAI also emphasised the critical importance of all parties involved in this conflict to fully comply with international humanitarian law.

“The Cook Islands remains dedicated to supporting diplomatic initiatives that can provide humanitarian aid to be delivered to those most affected. We urge all nations and international organisations, operating within their mandates, to work tirelessly toward this goal, ensuring that the voices of reason and diplomacy prevail over violence.

“We join the international community in our collective desire for a swift resolution and engagement that respects the dignity and well-being of all individuals affected by this crisis.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel ruled out a cease-fire in Gaza, dismissed calls for his resignation and rejected criticism of Israel’s strikes on civilian homes, The New York Times reported this week.

Netanyahu’s political opponents have called for him to resign over his failure to stop the attacks of October 7, when terrorists from Gaza raided Israel and killed more than 1400 people.

Abroad, the conduct of the Israeli counterattack on Gaza — which has killed more than 8000 people, according to the Hamas-run Gazan health ministry — has generated widespread outcry, with humanitarian groups and the United Nations General Assembly calling for a cease-fire.

“Just as the United States would not agree to a cease-fire after the bombing of Pearl Harbour or after the terrorist attack of 9/11, Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks of Oct. 7,” Netanyahu said, adding that “calls for a cease-fire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism.”