Explanation of Vote by Germany on Resolution ES-10/21 of the General Assembly, 27 October 2023

27.10.2023 - Speech

Statement delivered by Ambassador Antje Leendertse.

Thank you, Mr President.

Today was a difficult day for the General Assembly. I thank Jordan for its work and take the opportunity to explain our vote:

On 7 October, Israel fell victim to an unprecedented terrorist attack carried out by Hamas. Many civilians have been killed, injured or kidnapped. For almost three weeks now, Hamas has continued launching rockets against civilian targets in Israel.

You can hear the cry in Israel where families mourn their loved ones – killed, maimed, tortured, brutally abducted by Hamas terrorists.

For Germany, Israel’s security is non-negotiable. Hamas must, unconditionally and immediately, release all hostages, stop its indiscriminate rocket attacks and refrain from using civilians as human shields. Like any other state in the world, Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorism within the framework of international law.

Mr President,

Addressing the plight of Palestinians in no way contradicts this clear and unwavering stance. We also hear the cry of parents in Gaza mourning and fearing for the lives of their children.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is getting direr day by day. Germany calls for continued, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access and aid to reach those in need through all necessary measures including humanitarian corridors and pauses for humanitarian needs.

Mr President,

We believe that the draft resolution tabled by Jordan for the Arab Group rightly underlines the pressing humanitarian needs of civilians in Gaza and calls for humanitarian access.

On the other hand, in our view, the text has major flaws. It falls short of explicitly condemning the terrorist attacks by Hamas and calling out Hamas’ responsibility for killing civilians, taking hostages and indiscriminately firing rockets against civilian targets.

We therefore thank Canada for tabling an amendment that clearly names Hamas’ responsibility and suggests more unequivocal language.

Germany has therefore supported the Canadian amendment and deeply regrets that it did not obtain the necessary majority. Germany abstained on the resolution before us.

Mr President,

In the UN, we speak the language of international law, of humanity, of peaceful coexistence. This is what unites us. The rules of the UN Charter and international humanitarian law should guide our work towards a meaningful peace process allowing both Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in peace and security, in two independent states. We must all step up our efforts to this end.

I thank you.

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