A dear old friend just sent to me from New York the text of the statement issued by the IBSA grouping [India-Brazil-South Africa] a few minutes ago at the UN Headquarters regarding the Gaza situation. The IBSA statement reads as follows:
QUOTE. India, Brazil and South Africa express their strongest condemnation of the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine, that threatens the peace and security of the region. The IBSA countries deeply regret the loss of human lives and express their concern over the disproportionate and excessive use of force.
They urge the parties to immediate;y cease all violence, to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid taking any action that may further exacerbate the situation. They stress their expectation that the United Nations Security Council will do its utmost in the fulfillment of its responsibilities in regard to this serious situation.
They also stress the urgent need to lift the blockade in Gaza which continues to worsen the already dire socio-economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza.
The IBSA countries express their strong support to the mediation efforts of the Government of Egypt, the League of Arab States and the UN Secretary-General aimed at achieving a negotiated ceasefire.
Th IBSA countries believe that only diplomacy and dialogue will lead to the resolution of the current crisis, which makes it even more urgent to resume direct talks between israel and Palestine, leading to a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian Question, ie., the achievement of a two-state solution.
In view of the upcoming UN General Assembly discussion on the Question of Palestine, India, Brazil and South Africa express their support for Palestine’s request to be accorded Observer State status in the United Nations system. UNQUOTE.
What makes this statement particularly notable is that it is the outcome of an Indian initiative. The announcement of India’s support for Palestine’s observer status in the UN system is simply fantastic.