Mr. President, 

Switzerland voted in favor of this draft resolution and welcomes its adoption by the Security Council. 

It is finally a sign of hope.  Because this vote should mark a return to greater humanity in the Middle East conflict. "Human dignity and decency must define us as a global community". This is how the Secretary-General – whom I would like to thank, along with all the humanitarians involved – underlined this necessity yesterday at the Rafah crossing.

Today's vote demonstrates the importance and weight that elected members can have when the Council's blockages disrupt the fulfillment of its mandate. 

My country, Switzerland, worked tirelessly with all Council members – whom I would like to thank here – to get this resolution adopted, always in a spirit of solidarity and constructiveness, mindful of the mandate entrusted to us by the General Assembly when it elected us, and of our own priority, which is to protect civilians.

We had a clear common objective: to send the parties to the conflict a clear and unequivocal request for an immediate ceasefire leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire. It was high time that the Council agrees on this demand.

An immediate ceasefire is a priority step, but it is only the first step, given the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza. For almost six months, civilians - starting with children and hundreds of thousands of displaced persons - have been prey to daily bombardments, with the risk of famine and epidemics, instead of going to school, or to work, without danger.

This must stop immediately. The implementation of this resolution must help to provide the civilian population with the humanitarian aid they need through every possible means of access, as well as to provide medical care, restore medical infrastructures, relieve the burden on medical personnel and also enable them to carry out their mission without danger. 

The resolution also makes a clear demand for the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages, who - along with their families - must be allowed to return home safe and sound. Their capture during the acts of terror of October 7, which Switzerland strongly condemned, contravenes international law. 

Today's outcome is a clear call to all parties to cease hostilities and finally fully respect their obligations under international law, in particular international humanitarian and human rights law. 

For the resolution we have just adopted to be effectively implemented, the immediate ceasefire must lead without delay to a lasting sustainable ceasefire. Similarly, given the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that a large-scale operation in Rafah would have on the civilian population and humanitarian operations, such an operation must be avoided. 

Mr. President,

The Secretary-General said yesterday at the Rafah crossing: "It's time to silence the guns.” 

Hope is being able to see the light in spite of the darkness. With the adoption of the resolution today, it is now also high time to regain hope and to work together, relentlessly, towards a prospect of lasting peace, a two-state solution, where Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace, security and dignity.

Thank you.


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