UN Secretary General Guterres invokes Article 99 of the UN charter for the first time. This allows him to ‘bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.’
Article 99 is “the UN codeword for an exceptionally urgent situation.”
“Since the start of Israel’s military operation, more than 15,000 people have reportedly been killed, over 40 per cent of them children.” “Thousands of others have been injured. More than half of all homes have been destroyed.” “I’ve just invoked Art.99 of the UN Charter – for the 1st time in my tenure as Secretary-General.”
“We are facing a severe risk of collapse of the humanitarian system.”
“The international community has a responsibility to use all its influence to prevent further escalation and end this crisis.”
“I urge the members of the Security Council to press to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.”
“I reiterate my appeal for a humanitarian ceasefire to be declared. This is urgent.”
UN Article 99 EXPLAINED: Implications and Actions
The UN Secretary-General’s invocation of Article 99 of the UN Charter marks a significant moment, highlighting the dire situation in Gaza.
This article allows the Secretary-General to proactively bring issues that may threaten global peace and security to the Security Council’s attention.
The invocation could lead to several actions:
Setting a Precedent: This first-time use under the current Secretary-General sets a precedent for addressing future global crises.
Urgent Security Council Meetings: It may prompt immediate, high-level discussions within the Security Council, focusing global attention on Gaza.
Mobilizing International Response: The move can galvanize international efforts, leading to humanitarian aid or peacekeeping interventions.
Diplomatic Pressure: It might exert pressure on key stakeholders to negotiate and collaborate towards a ceasefire or longer-term solutions.
This decisive step signifies the Secretary-General’s commitment to addressing escalating situations before they turn into larger conflicts, embodying the proactive peacekeeping role of the UN.