Launching Humanitarian Appeal, Secretary-General Urges Conference ‘Help Civilians in Gaza See at Last’ that World Sees Their Plight, Cares Enough to Act
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the International Humanitarian Conference for the Civilian Population in Gaza, in Paris today:
President Macron, thank you for hosting this conference. We are here to support civilians in Gaza.
Of course, nothing justifies the abhorrent acts of terror by Hamas in Israel on 7 October, which I utterly condemn. Israelis and others were brutally killed or abducted and I call once again for the unconditional return of all hostages.
Now civilians in Gaza — including children and women — face a never—ending humanitarian nightmare. Their neighbourhoods wiped out. Their loved ones killed. Bombs raining down, while being denied life’s very basics — food, water, medicine, electricity.
Some life—saving aid is beginning to trickle into Gaza. But, let’s face it, it’s a drop in the ocean. The needs are enormous. We must step up to assist and protect civilians in Gaza.
That means an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It means ensuring full respect of international humanitarian law. It means protecting hospitals, UN facilities, shelters, and schools.
It means unfettered, safe, and sustained access to bring in and distribute supplies at much greater scale, volume, and frequency — including fuel.
And it means investing in the $1.2 billion humanitarian appeal that the United Nations has just launched to help the people of Gaza. I urge your support.
Now is the time for concrete action. Together, we can help ease this terrible human suffering. We can help civilians in Gaza see at last, and at the very least, a glimmer of hope — a sign of solidarity — and a signal that the world sees their plight and cares enough to act. Thank you.