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India Abstains from UN Vote on Gaza Humanitarian Truce

India abstained from voting on a United Nations General Assembly draft resolution that called for an immediate humanitarian truce in the Israel-Hamas conflict on Friday.

The draft resolution, titled “Protection of civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations,” was submitted by Jordan and aimed to address the dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. It called for an immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce and demanded unhindered humanitarian access to essential goods and services in the region. The resolution had more than 40 co-sponsors, including Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan, Russia, and South Africa.

India’s decision to abstain was shared by several other countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Ukraine, and the UK. The resolution, despite these abstentions, was overwhelmingly adopted with 120 nations voting in favor, 14 against, and 45 abstaining.

Before the General Assembly voted on the resolution, a proposed amendment co-sponsored by Canada and the United States sought to insert a paragraph that would unequivocally reject and condemn “terrorist attacks” by Hamas, which had commenced in Israel on October 7, 2023. The amendment also called for the release of hostages taken in these attacks in compliance with international law. India voted in favour of this amendment, along with 87 other nations, while 55 member states voted against it, and 23 abstained. However, the amendment was not adopted.

Ambassador Yojna Patel, Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the UN, addressed the General Assembly and expressed India’s stance on the matter, saying, “The terror attacks in Israel on 7th October were shocking and deserve condemnation. Our thoughts are also with those taken hostages. We call for their immediate and unconditional release.” She said that there’s a need to unite against terrorism, stating, “Terrorism is a malignancy and knows no borders, nationality, or race. The world should not buy into any justification of terror acts.”

India also stressed the importance of addressing the humanitarian crisis and supported international efforts for de-escalation and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. “We urge the parties to de-escalate, eschew violence and work towards creating conditions for an early resumption of direct peace negotiations,” Ambassador Patel stated.

The Jordanian-drafted resolution called for immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce, unhindered humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip, and the provision of essential goods and services to civilians. It stressed the imperative of ensuring that civilians are not deprived of objects indispensable to their survival and demanded compliance with international law to protect civilians, civilian objects, and humanitarian personnel.

The resolution also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians being illegally held captive, demanding their safety, well-being, and humane treatment in compliance with international law.

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