UN Chief invokes Article 99 over Gaza for first time
The letter outlines the severity of the situation in Gaza, the imminent danger faced by its civilians, and also the potential risks for the maintenance of international peace and security.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has activated Article 99 of the United Nations Charter, issuing a letter to the President of the Security Council regarding the situation in the Gaza Strip, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric announced on Wednesday.
This marks the first instance of Guterres utilizing Article 99 of the UN Charter to call for the Security Council's action since assuming his position in 2017, Dujarric said.
"This is the first time that Antonio Guterres has done [this] since he became Secretary-General in 2017," Dujarric told reporters, adding that the decision was made on the basis of the significant loss of human life.
He clarified that Article 99 grants the UN chief the authority to draw the attention of the Security Council to any matters that, in his judgment, could pose a threat to international peace and security.
Dujarric said that the letter was received and distributed but has not received any response from the Security Council so far.
In the letter, Guterres said he invoked the Article "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."
The letter outlines the severity of the situation in Gaza, emphasizing the imminent danger faced by its civilians.
It also highlights the collapse of the health system in Gaza, unable to meet the needs of its people.
I've just invoked Art.99 of the UN Charter - for the 1st time in my tenure as Secretary-General.— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) December 6, 2023
Facing a severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, I urge the Council to help avert a humanitarian catastrophe & appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared. pic.twitter.com/pA0eRXZnFJ
It is important to note that 111 UN employees have been martyred as a result of this genocide.
Guterres had previously said that this represents the "largest loss of personnel in the history of our organization."
"Israel's" Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gilad Erdan justified their killing on the basis that "Many UNRWA workers in Gaza are themselves members of Hamas. The time has come to bust the myth of UN-supplied facts," he said on November 10.