• Press Release

Israel/OPT: Adoption of UN Resolution to Expedite Humanitarian Aid to Gaza an Important but Insufficient Step

December 22, 2023

young boy in front of destroyed building in Gaza
(Mohamed Abed/AFP via Getty Images)
In response to the United Nations Security Council adoption of a compromise resolution calling for “urgent steps to immediately allow safe and unhindered and expanded humanitarian access” to Gaza and creating “the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities,” Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Agnès Callamard, said:

“This is a much-needed resolution – all efforts to address the unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza must be welcomed, but it remains woefully insufficient in the face of the ongoing carnage and extensive destruction wrought by the government of Israel’s attacks in the occupied Gaza Strip. Nothing short of an immediate ceasefire is enough to alleviate the mass civilian suffering we are witnessing.

“The vote on the resolution – which was watered down significantly from earlier versions to avoid a US veto fails to call for an immediate halt in the fighting, instead including a call to ‘create conditions’ for a cessation of hostilities. Given the staggering death toll – with more than 20,000 killed in over two months, and the horrifying scale of destruction and devastation in Gaza this is simply unacceptable.

“It is disgraceful that the US was able to stall and use the threat of its veto power to force the UN Security Council to weaken a much-needed call for an immediate end to attacks by all parties.”

Paul O’Brien, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, added:

“The people of Gaza need a ceasefire now. While we welcome the recognition that urgent action must be taken to scale up access to desperately needed humanitarian assistance, we urge for the momentum to continue towards a full ceasefire, not just a pause. Enough is enough. A ceasefire is the only way to protect civilian lives, allow for life-saving assistance, and provide the opportunity to secure the release of the remaining hostages.”


The resolution adopted seeks to establish a “mechanism” to expedite deliveries of humanitarian aid to Gaza. Earlier drafts of the resolution had called for an urgent “cessation of hostilities” or “suspension of hostilities,” but this was removed due to objection from the US mission.

Amnesty International has been calling for an immediate ceasefire by all parties since October 26 to put an end to unlawful attacks and protect all civilians in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. A ceasefire would prevent further civilian loss of life and alleviate the immeasurable suffering caused by the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

Contact: [email protected]