Letters: Tories’ ‘ceasefire amendment’ is different to that advocated by the UN General Assembly


Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to point out that the Tory amendment, which replaced the motion put by the Labour and Green groups, was misleading because it claimed to have been “advocated by the UN General Assembly”.

But it is very different from the resolution which passed in the UNGA with 153 for, 10 against and 23 abstentions.

Read: “Shame on you” – Bedford Borough Council votes on Gaza-Israel conflict motion

The UNGA resolution demanded in point no.1 “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire”. The council’s motion calls for a “sustainable ceasefire” which is the formula used by the US and its allies, and seems to mean “when we’re happy to have one”.

The UN General Secretary, Antonio Guterres, took the very rare step of invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter to get the UNGA debate, because the situation was so dire that an immediate ceasefire was needed.

This was the opinion of all the UN agencies, all the humanitarian organisations (Oxfam, Medecins sans Frontieres, etc.) and, as the vote proved, of the majority of UN member nations.

I’m glad that any ceasefire motion was agreed by the council, but if we want to put pressure on those who are still fighting we need to let the world know how desperate the humanitarian situation is on the ground.

Yours sincerely,

Rob Wall