[WATCH] Israel-Gaza war: Malta’s UN ambassador says Security Council resolution ‘only a first step’

A Malta-sponsored resolution approved by the UNSC calling for extended humanitarian pauses is a ‘drop in the ocean’ of what needs to be done, Malta’s UN ambassador says

Malta's UN ambassador Vanessa Frazier
Malta's UN ambassador Vanessa Frazier

Malta’s UN ambassador Vanessa Frazier has said the Security Council resolution adopted on Wednesday is a “drop in the ocean” but insisted it offered hope.

Speaking after the vote she said the Malta-sponsored resolution focussed on the plight of Palestinian children trapped in Gaza and the Israeli children being held hostage.

“It is only a first step and it seeks to offer hope in this dark hour,” Frazier said during a press point at the UN headquarters in New York. “It is a drop in the ocean of what needs to be done.”

She expressed disappointment that Israel’s first reaction was to reject the resolution. “It is very disappointing that this would be the first reaction of Israel, especially since they have said they are already abiding by the provisions of this resolution, therefore it should have been a continuation of what they are doing if that was the case,” she said.

Frazier expressed hope that Israel takes its time to read the resolution and see what it says. “There are important passages in the resolution that take care of the needs of Israelis also; when we consider the plight of the children, we are also considering the plight of Israeli children,” she said.

The Security Council adopted a resolution calling for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days to enable full, rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access.

The resolution, drafted by Malta, received 12 votes in favour and three abstentions – the UK, the US and Russia.

Frazier said Malta “held extensive consultations with Council members, interested parties, countries in the region, and humanitarian organisations” in an effort “to achieve a balanced and operational text.”

The text of the resolution demands compliance with international law, specifically the protection of civilians, especially children. It also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and other groups, especially children.

The text calls on all parties not to deprive civilians in Gaza of basic services and humanitarian aid needed for their survival, and welcomes the initial, limited deliveries of aid, and calls for that to be scaled up.

It crucially calls for extended humanitarian pauses that should last for days, with Frazier saying that from consultations with agencies on the ground would need to be at least of three days.