Thank you, Mr. President.
For nearly six weeks this Council remained silent as the conflict worsened to an unprecedented degree. Today, at last, we were able to act. Japan was pleased to vote in favor of this resolution, and we are grateful to Malta for taking the initiative to help finally craft a balanced text that could be adopted.
This resolution emphasizes the need to protect civilians, especially children, who should never be targeted and who have been disproportionately affected both by the conflict and by the rapidly worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza.
It is important that the resolution calls for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip”, and for “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and other groups”.
In this context, Japan highly appreciates ongoing diplomatic efforts made by key actors, including the United States.
This is just the beginning. The Council must continue to be actively engaged on this file in order to protect civilians, especially the most vulnerable including women and the disabled as well as children; prevent the conflict from spreading; and ultimately bring durable peace and stability to the region, which can only be achieved through a two-state solution. We also need to keep in mind various aspects including WPS. Japan will work tirelessly to these ends.
I thank you, Mr. President.