UN Secretary calls on the Security Council to take measures to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.
UN Secretary calls on the Security Council to take measures to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, sent a letter to the President of the Security Council, Jose de la Gasca, in which he invokes Article 99 of the UN Charter, given the escalation of aggression by Israel in Gaza.

“I am writing to you under Article 99 of the Charter of the United Nations to bring to the attention of the Security Council a matter which, in my opinion, may aggravate existing threats to the maintenance of international peace and security”, he said in Guterres letter.

In that sense he added: “More than eight weeks of hostilities in Gaza and Israel have created terrible human suffering, physical destruction and collective trauma in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory”.

Article 99 of the United Nations Charter, set out in Chapter XV, allows the Secretary-General to bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter that, in his opinion, may threaten world peace and security.

It is the first time that Guterres invokes Article 99, an unprecedented event during his administration that began in 2017, highlighting its importance in the context of international peace and security.

In this sense, the highest representative of the UN warned about the Israeli bombings, pointing out an inevitable collapse of public order, due to the conditions in the Palestinian enclave.

Difficulties in providing humanitarian aid

“Amid constant shelling by the Israeli armed forces and without shelter and the bare minimum to survive, I expect the imminent total collapse of public order due to desperate conditions, which would make even limited humanitarian assistance impossible,” Guterres said.

Likewise, the UN Secretary General raised the risk of epidemics, and greater pressure for the forced and massive displacement of the Palestinian civilian population to neighboring countries.

Guterres highlighted the difficulties in providing adequate humanitarian aid to Gaza, citing “shortage of supplies, lack of fuel, disruptions in communications and increased insecurity”.

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This call from the Secretary General invoking Article 99 seeks to initiate a debate in the UN Security Council, where the member countries of the organization are involved.

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Previously, this article has been used infrequently, being remembered for its impact in critical situations, such as the request for an urgent meeting on the Congo in 1960 by Secretary General Hammarskjöld.