UN Security Council Seeks Protection of Aid Workers Worldwide

Sat May 25 2024
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NEW YORK: The UN Security Council has called on all countries to respect and protect aid workers and U.N. personnel, strongly condemning all violence against them and the “unlawful denial of humanitarian access.”

The 15-member body on Friday adopted the Swiss resolution with 14 votes in favour, while Russia abstained.

The resolution, which did not identify any specific conflicts, was adopted after more than seven months of war between Israel and the Palestinian fighter group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. According to the UN, more than 250 aid workers have been killed in the conflict.

Israel is under growing global pressure to allow more aid into the besieged enclave, where the UN says famine is at risk.

“This resolution is not about one specific context, it is for all humanitarian workers around the world,” Pascale Baeriswyl, the Swiss UN Ambassador, told reporters.

READ ALSO: Over 2,000 Aid Trucks Stuck at Rafah Border: Norwegian Refugee Council

Slovenia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Ondina Blokar, said that at least 2,491 aid workers have been killed and more than 4,500 injured or kidnapped worldwide since 2003.

He expressed concern that these numbers continue to grow with each passing month of the ongoing armed conflict in Gaza, Ukraine, Sudan and elsewhere. “This is simply inexcusable and unjustifiable,” Blokar told the council.

Most of the aid workers killed in Gaza worked for the Palestinian UN refugee agency UNRWA. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the deaths of all aid workers in Gaza must be investigated.

Robert Wood, the Deputy US ambassador to the UN, told the council that the killing of more than 250 aid workers in the conflict between Israel and Hamas – “more than in any other conflict in the history of the UN” – was unacceptable.

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