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Friday, January 9, 2009
Text: UN Security Council Resolution 9567 on Gaza

8 January 2009
Security Council
Department of Public Information . News and Media Division . New York



The Security Council met this evening to take action on a draft resolution
(document S/2009/23) sponsored by the United Kingdom, which reads as

"The Security Council,

"Recalling all of its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242
(1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and 1850 (2008),

"Stressing that the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the territory
occupied in 1967 and will be a part of the Palestinian state,

"Emphasising the importance of the safety and well-being of all civilians,

"Expressing grave concern at the escalation of violence and the
deterioration of the situation, in particular the resulting heavy civilian
casualties since the refusal to extend the period of calm; and emphasising
that the Palestinian and Israeli civilian populations must be protected,

"Expressing grave concern also at the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza,

"Emphasising the need to ensure sustained and regular flow of goods and
people through the Gaza crossings,

"Recognising the vital role played by UNRWA in providing humanitarian and
economic assistance within Gaza,

"Recalling that a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can
only be achieved by peaceful means,

"Reaffirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within
secure and internationally recognized borders,

"1. Stresses the urgency of and calls for an immediate, durable and fully
respected ceasefire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from

"2. Calls for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of
humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment;

"3. Welcomes the initiatives aimed at creating and opening humanitarian
corridors and other mechanisms for the sustained delivery of humanitarian

"4. Calls on Member States to support international efforts to alleviate
the humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza, including through urgently
needed additional contributions to UNRWA and through the Ad Hoc Liaison

"5. Condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians and
all acts of terrorism;

"6. Calls upon Member States to intensify efforts to provide arrangements
and guarantees in Gaza in order to sustain a durable ceasefire and calm,
including to prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition and to
ensure the sustained re-opening of the crossing points on the basis of the
2005 Agreement on Movement and Access between the Palestinian Authority and
Israel; and in this regard, welcomes the Egyptian initiative, and other
regional and international efforts that are under way;

"7. Encourages tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation
including in support of mediation efforts of Egypt and the League of Arab
States as expressed in the 26 November 2008 resolution, and consistent with
Security Council resolution 1850 (2008) and other relevant resolutions;

"8. Calls for renewed and urgent efforts by the parties and the
international community to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision
of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by
side in peace with secure and recognised borders, as envisaged in Security
Council resolution 1850 (2008), and recalls also the importance of the Arab
Peace Initiative;

"9. Welcomes the Quartet's consideration, in consultation with the
parties, of an international meeting in Moscow in 2009;

"10. Decides to remain seized of the matter."

Statements before Vote

BERNARD KOUCHNER, Minister for Foreign Affairs of France, speaking in his
national capacity, said the Council was meeting in the common cause of
achieving a ceasefire. In Gaza, there was an unprecedented humanitarian
crisis. He said he was moved and distressed by the plight of the victims
and families on both sides. The immediate end to hostilities was something
the European Union and President Nicolas Sarkozy had been committed to.

He said the draft called for the end to the firing of rockets, the end to
the Israeli operations, the opening of the border crossings and an end to
arms smuggling. Those parameters were something the President of France had
brought up with the leaders of the region and President Hosni Mubarak had
drawn up a proposal. That plan was the only way to peace. He expressed
regret that it had not been possible to give a little more time to reconcile
different views or to endorse the results of negotiations now under way.
The message of hope needed to be heeded without delay and negotiation under
way needed to achieve prompt results.


The Council then adopted resolution 1860 (2009) by a vote of 14 in favour,
with and 1 abstention ( United States).

Statements after Vote

United Nations Secretary-General BAN KI-MOON said that for the past two
weeks, people all over the world had witnessed the escalating violence and
the suffering in Gaza and southern Israel. He was heartened and relieved at
the adoption of a resolution to end the tragic situation. That decision
signalled the will of the international community and must be fully
respected by the parties. It called for a ceasefire and for humanitarian
access. There was also a need for quickly rebuilding what had been
destroyed. An immediate and durable ceasefire was only the first step.
More would be needed, and a political way forward was required to deliver
long-term security and peace. His visit to the region next week would focus
on helping to ensure implementation of the ceasefire and that humanitarian
aid reached those in need.

DAVID MILIBAND, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of
the United Kingdom, said the Council had been brought together by the
gravity of the situation existing in Gaza. The word "crisis" was wholly
appropriate. The Council was also brought together by the vision of
security and dignity for Palestinians and Israelis both. There was a clear
consensus on an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire and on the
humanitarian need of the people in Gaza through aid and opening of the
border crossings, as well as on security for Israel through an end to arms
smuggling and on the need for a political process going forward. Tonight,
the United Nations had served its purpose by speaking clearly and with
authority. There were more responsibilities, for the States in the region,
as well as the international community as a whole. The current
responsibility was to chart a course back to resolution 1850 (2008). That
could now be done with the just adopted resolution. The job now was to turn
the words of the resolution into a reality.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, Secretary of State of the United States, said that the
situation in Gaza was very serious and the overall goal must be ensuring
stabilization and normalization on the ground. The resolution just adopted
showed that the Council and the United Nations were indeed seized of the
matter. It was also a step towards the collective goals reflecting the
desire of all for sustainable peace in the region. While much remained to
be done, much work was under way, she said, stressing that the initiative
proposed by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was not just to be applauded,
but must be supported. Such work would lead to a durable ceasefire and
sustainable peace.

Many tasks remained to be addressed, including rooting out the causes of the
hostilities, tackling the smuggling and provision of weapons, securing
crossing points in line with the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access, and
providing security for the Israeli people and a better life for the people
of Gaza. "We must establish an international consensus that Gaza must never
again be used as a launching pad for rockets against Israeli citizens,
because it is important to remember how this crisis began", she said,
stressing that the violence in the Strip had been instigated by Hamas, "a
terrorist group that called for the destruction of Israel".

Continuing, she said that, some 18 months ago, Hamas had taken over the Gaza
Strip in a coup and, since then, thousands of guns, rockets and mortars had
been smuggled into the territory. Hamas had refused to extend the "period
of calm" and its continued armament was a root cause of the current
situation and had gravely endangered the residents of both Gaza and southern
Israel. "Hamas's commitment to violence is not only an attack on Israel,
but also on the two-State solution," she said.

The United States required the principled resolution of the situation in
Gaza, and the Security Council resolution just adopted was a basis on which
that could be done. At the same time, she stressed that it was not just a
matter of resolving the situation on the ground. There would need to be a
principled resolution also of the political challenges in Gaza that
re-established the Palestinian Authority's control, including over borders;
facilitated the normal operation of Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings; and,
in time, the opening of other crossings. She said that the United States
supported President Mahmoud Abbas as he carried out his responsibilities
towards the establishment of a State of Palestine.

She went on to say that the United States remained deeply concerned about
the innocent Palestinians suffering in Gaza, and would maintain and continue
the humanitarian efforts it was taking to support United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and
non-governmental organizations working on the ground. She said the United
States recognized the right of Israel, like other States, to exercise its
right of self-defence, and it had stressed to Israel that it was obligated
to take feasible steps to minimize the impact of any actions on civilians.
She reminded the Council that Hamas continued to hold Israeli soldier Gilad
Shalit, who must be released.

Finally, she said that the United States thought it important to see the
outcomes of the Egyptian mediation efforts in order to "see what this
resolution might have been supporting", and that was why her delegation had
abstained in the vote. Still, after a great deal of consideration, the
United States had decided that the resolution, the text, goals and
objectives of which it supported, should be allowed to go forward. "I
believe in doing so, the Council has provided a road map for a sustainable,
durable peace in Gaza," she said.

ABDURRAHMAN MOHAMED SHALGHAM, Secretary of the General People's Committee
for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation of Libya, said on behalf
of the hundreds that had been killed and the thousands that had been
wounded, the objective had been to put an end to Israeli aggression, lift
the siege on Gaza and provide humanitarian assistance to the suffering
people there. To that end, Libya had previously submitted its own draft
resolution to address the crisis. After several meetings, the United
Kingdom, the United States and France had submitted a draft which, after
several more rounds of negotiations, the Arab Group believed satisfied a
minimum of its demands.

While the Group had voted in favour of that text, especially because it
called for an immediate end to hostilities, he stressed that not all of the
Group's proposals and demands had been met, including the desire for a
mechanism to ensure a quick resolution to the crisis. He said that the
international community must continue to put pressure on Israel to end the
violence and open borders to ensure that humanitarian assistance reached the
population that was in dire need. At the same time, he said that the
international community must ensure that Israel's crimes in the region did
not continue.

ALI BABACAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, said that, after three
days of negotiations, the Council had been able to reach a decision on a
resolution. While some delegations might not be satisfied with the outcome,
the resolution was nevertheless a compromise decision that expressed the
will of the Council, especially in that it called for an immediate ceasefire
and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. The call for unimpeded
humanitarian access was also an important element of the text. Now, the
Council must move forward with implementation. Indeed, full and effective
implementation was crucial to ending the crisis. Turkey also believed that,
as soon as possible, all Palestinian parties must move forward with national
reconciliation efforts. Turkey would work with those parties to ensure
progress going forward.

ALEXANDER YAKOVENKO, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian
Federation, said the resolution favoured an immediate ceasefire by all
parties, as well as finding a long-term and comprehensive solution to the
problems of Gaza. It was a balanced and, hopefully, effective resolution.
The situation in Gaza could not be solved by the use of force. The fact
that all members of the Council had spoken in favour of a long and durable
ceasefire did not mean that the work was finished. It was important to make
even more efforts to overcome the crisis in Gaza. The developments in the
last hours had underlined the need for a solution.

JORGE URBINA ( Costa Rica) said the just adopted resolution had a tremendous
moral force. The resolution called on the parties to bring about an
immediate cessation of hostilities and attested to the resolve of the
international community. He underscored the legal, binding nature of the
resolution. It was mandatory that it be complied with by all parties in the
conflict. Failure to comply could and should entail serious consequences.
He hoped the Council could be consistent with its decision taken today, and
would use its authority to ensure respect for the decision.

YUKIO TAKASU ( Japan) said it was important that the Council had been able
to take a decision on the grave and serious situation in Gaza, after several
rounds of consultations over the past few days. The resolution, above all,
stressed the urgency of action and called for an immediate ceasefire. At
the same time, earlier in the day, the international community had been
shocked to hear about the killing of a staff member of UNRWA. Japan
expressed condolences to the family of the victim and stressed that the
incident revealed the urgency of ensuring an immediate ceasefire. Indeed,
calm, normalcy and safe living conditions in and around Gaza must return and
must be the ultimate goal of the international community's efforts. He
added that the text must also ensure that the peace process got back on
track in line with resolution 1850 (2008).

CLAUDE HELLER ( Mexico) said that in the face of the tragic events that had
been occurring in Gaza since late December, causing death and destruction
and deepening the humanitarian crisis there, the Council had the duty to end
the violence and relieve human suffering. Finally tonight, the Council had
shouldered its responsibility by calling for an immediate and durable
ceasefire and the opening of crossings to provide humanitarian relief.
Mexico had insisted on the broadest consensus during the negotiations and
the balanced text just adopted met its requirements. What was needed now
was to build a foundation for the future.

He stressed, however, that Mexico would have preferred that the text
incorporate an explicit reference to respect for the provisions of
international humanitarian law, as well as a more direct reference for
establishing an international mechanism to monitor the implementation of all
the measures to be adopted at the conclusion of diplomatic efforts currently
under way. The Council and the wider international community must support
those negotiations and ensure that the broader Middle East peace process
continued apace.

ZHANG YESUI ( China) said, since the outbreak of the conflict, China had
consistently supported swift Council action aimed at a ceasefire and opening
the border crossings. While the resolution was not totally satisfactory,
taking into account the gravity of the situation on the ground, China had
voted in favour. The resolution reflected the will of the international
community. He urged the parties to achieve an immediate ceasefire and to
implement the resolution. He hoped the international community would help
bring the parties together to a comprehensive and durable solution to the
Palestinian question.

FRANCIS BUTAGIRA ( Uganda) had voted in favour to end the hostilities and
the humanitarian tragedy. The resolution was balanced, providing for an
immediate ceasefire, humanitarian access and protection of civilians. Today's
outcome reflected a consensus, which indicated that the Council was aware of
its responsibility to maintain international peace and security. The
Council should remain engaged in finding peace in the Middle East, with
Israel and Palestine living in peace with each other. He urged the parties
to implement the resolution.

LE LUONG MINH (Viet Nam), said his delegation would liked to have seen a
resolution with more clear cut language on the implementation of an
immediate ceasefire and early withdrawal of Israeli troops, which he
considered a prerequisite for ending the crisis and providing relief to the
suffering Palestinian people. However, in light of the continuing violence
and deepening humanitarian crisis, Viet Nam had supported the current text,
which it believed could, nevertheless, provide a basis for bringing an end
to the current crisis and paving the way for the continuation of the peace

MICHEL KAFANDO ( Burkina Faso) welcomed the adoption of the resolution and
said that the Council could not be indifferent to the tragedy under way in
Gaza, especially in light of the serious and deteriorating humanitarian
situation. Burkina Faso believed that the Council should have acted
earlier, but "as they say, better late than never". He said that the
language of the text could have been clearer, but it nevertheless was an
expression of the Council's will and was, after all, the result of
compromise. He applauded the efforts of the negotiating parties,
particularly the Arab Group, which had made compromises to ensure the text
was adopted. He hoped that adoption of the resolution would not only end
the current conflict, but build a foundation for continued negotiations
towards a sustainable peace in the region.

THOMAS MAYR-HARTING ( Austria) said it had been important to achieve the
immediate need for a ceasefire and to preserve the unity of the Council. He
was, therefore, grateful for the efforts that had made the consensus
possible. There must be an unconditional halt to rocket attacks on southern
Israel and an end to military operations in Gaza. Another priority was a
lasting and sustained opening of the border crossings, so that the
humanitarian situation of Gaza could be addressed. One point had not been
explicitly mentioned in the resolution, namely the obligation of all parties
to fully respect humanitarian and human rights law.

NEVEN JURICA ( Croatia) said an immediate, permanent and effective ceasefire
implemented by all was a necessity and should end the suffering in Gaza, as
well as the terrorist threat in southern Israel. A ceasefire could only be
achieved on the ground through ensuring that there were no more rocket
attacks and arms smuggling. Confidence in mechanisms on the ground was
imperative. A political dialogue was the only way to achieve lasting peace,
based on a two-State solution.

RIYAD AL-MALIKI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority,
said that adoption of the resolution had been delayed several days, despite
the deepening humanitarian crisis and heavy loss of lives of Palestinian
civilians. Some 700 Palestinians had been killed and close to 3,000 had
been wounded. Moreover, Israel had relentlessly pursued its goal of
ruthlessly destroying

Palestinian property and infrastructure, including schools and mosques.
Nevertheless, Israel must now end its war against the Palestinian people and
withdraw its forces from the Gaza Strip. It must also lift the closure of
borders and ensure humanitarian access to the people in need. Israel must
immediately implement the resolution, he said, adding that: "The violence
must cease so that [.] we can rebuild what the brutal Israeli war machine
had destroyed in Gaza."

Prince SAUD Al-FAISAL, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, said
today had raised the hope for a new era in the work of the Security Council.
It had assumed its responsibility to end the violence in Gaza. He hoped
that all parties would look at the text as an affirmation of the
Organization's mandate to ensure international peace and security and
alleviate human suffering. Indeed, the text should be seen as a model for
addressing future crises.

He went on to say that the real joy was not in what had been achieved in New
York, but what would be achieved in Gaza, where he hoped that many lives
would now be saved. Adoption of the resolution would show that the Council
worked for the well-being of all people and was not a tool to be manipulated
by States. At the same time, that joy was tempered by the loss of so many
lives during the negotiating process. It was said that success always had a
price, but in this case, that price might have been too high. Still, he
hoped that the resolution would bring an immediate end to the current
conflict and serve as a basis to move forward with peace in the Middle East.

AHMED ABOUL GHEIT, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, said President
Mubarak had, in the presence of President Sarkozy of France, tabled a road
map to settle the situation in Gaza. The adopted resolution welcomed that
initiative. President Mubarak welcomed the resolution as a crucial support
for the Egyptian efforts. The Arab people hoped the Council would see to
the immediate implementation of the resolution. Egypt would spare no
efforts, together with the Palestinians, to restore calm and provide an
atmosphere conducive to negotiations towards establishment of a Palestinian
State, with East Jerusalem as its capital. He stressed that all
Palestinians were part of one fabric and had one just cause. Egypt would
make every effort to bridge the gap between them.

GABRIELA SHALEV ( Israel) said that Israel, when in left Gaza in 2005, had
hoped it would never have to return. However, after eight years of
continuous rocket attacks by the Hamas terrorist organization, Hamas'
refusal to extend the period of calm, and its smuggling of weapons during
that period, had left Israel with no choice but to act in self-defence.
Responsibility for the current hostilities lay squarely with Hamas. The
international community must focus its attention on the cessation of Hamas'
terrorist activities. Any arrangement must be fully respected and secured,
including the total cessation of rocket fire and smuggling, in order to be
durable and to allow the possibility of lasting peace.

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