UNDP Administrator’s statement in response to 22 December Security Council resolution

December 23, 2023

I join the Secretary-General in the hope that the latest Security Council resolution will clear the way for a humanitarian ceasefire, as necessary to urgently meet the desperate needs of people in Gaza and to end this worsening catastrophe.

The situation in Gaza has reached a state of profound desperation. More than 20,000 people have been killed, the majority of whom are women and children. Winter has arrived. One out of every four people face imminent starvation. People are in desperate need of shelter, food, water, access to medical care, and security.

The impacts of this war extend beyond borders, affecting neighbouring countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and beyond. Recent estimates by UNDP and ESCWA indicate a significant blow to the combined economies of these three countries if the war continues into the new year, leading to an alarming rise in poverty and negative impact on human development across the region.

The Security Council resolution should allow the UN to operate safely and at scale under the direction of a UN Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator. UNDP, through the Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP) will closely collaborate with partners to effectively implement this resolution. While this is a step forward, it is not sufficient.

A humanitarian ceasefire now is vital.

As the resolution notes, there must be an adherence to international law, all hostages must be released, and we must ensure humanitarian aid is scaled up, sustained, and unrestricted. We must not fall short. 

The war must end now.