UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has joined other nations in urging for the prompt implementation of a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution that calls for a Ramazan ceasefire, paving the way for a lasting and sustainable peace in Gaza.

Alongside the ceasefire, the resolution underscores the necessity for the immediate, unconditional release of all prisoners. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said the resolution “must be implemented” to secure a ceasefire and the “immediate and unconditional release” of all prisoners.

Expressing solidarity with the resolution, Pakistan’s UN ambassador Munir Akram also underscored “the urgent need to expand the flow of humanitarian assistance to and reinforce the protection of civilians in the entire Gaza Strip.” The resolution “must be implemented immediately,” he said, while emphasising the need for a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza.

Calling this the first step in halting Israel’s brutal campaign in Gaza, Ambassador Akram said Pakistan would continue to work actively for a just, comprehensive, and durable solution through the establishment of a secure, viable, contiguous, and sovereign state of Palestine on the basis of the pre-June 1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

Diplomats, UN officials say Security Council resolutions are ‘binding’, Israel under obligation to stop military campaign in Gaza

Speaking on behalf of the 10 elected members of the UNSC who drafted and presented the resolution, Mozambique’s envoy to the UN Pedro Comissario expressed satisfaction with its adoption and emphasised the urgency of ceasefire in Gaza and the release of all prisoners.

The E-10 group includes Algeria, Ecuador, Guyana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, and Switzerland.

Ambassador Comissario stressed the importance of uninterrupted humanitarian aid flow to Gaza and expressed the hope that the resolution would alleviate the suffering of Gazans and contribute to lasting peace in the Middle East.

‘Binding, mandatory’

On the other hand, the UN and some member states disputed the US assertion that the Gaza resolution was ‘non-binding’. Asked about the US characterisation of the resolution as “non-binding”, Amb Comissario affirmed that “all UN Security Council resolutions are binding and mandatory.”

“This resolution needs to be implemented immediately,” said Britain’s UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward when asked if the text was binding. “It sends a clear council message, a united council message, and we expect all council resolutions to be implemented.”

UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq also clarified at a daily news briefing that all the resolutions of the Security Council were “international law. They are as binding as international laws.”

Mark Lyall-Grant, who was the UK ambassador to the UN from 2009 to 2015, told the BBC that the resolution meant Israel was “under an obligation, essentially, to stop its military campaign for the next 15 days” of Ramazan. He added the text was legally binding on Israel but not on Hamas, as the group was not a state.

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller had earlier told a press briefing that the Gaza resolution was non-binding.

Separately, China on Tuesday welcomed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passing a resolution that demands an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, APP reported.

“It is in line with the correct direction of the UNSC’s actions and responds to the general expectations of the international community,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Lin Jian said during his regular briefing while responding to a question.

To yet another question, the spokesperson said that the Security Council resolutions are binding and called on the parties concerned to fulfill their obligations under the UN Charter and to take due action as required by the resolution.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2024

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