Indonesia urges full Gaza ceasefire at UNSC: “I want to be on the right side of history,” FM Retno Marsudi

Indonesia urges full Gaza ceasefire at UNSC: “I want to be on the right side of history,” FM Retno Marsudi
FM Retno Marsudi addresses the UN General Assembly in New York City, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. (Image by Kena Betancur/AFP)

With great determination, Indonesia once again raised its voice in defense of Palestine at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

“I am back attending the UNSC meeting, because I want to be on the right side of the history. To defend justice and humanity for the Palestinian.”

At the High-Level Open Debate UN Security Council Briefing on the Middle East, New York (Nov. 29), Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi issued a strong statement calling for an immediate ceasefire to end the violence, full and unimpeded humanitarian access to Gaza, and a strong call for the UN Security Council to act to enforce compliance with international law in the region.

Marsudi stressed the urgency of ending the violence and providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza. She also expressed concern about the escalation of Israeli attacks in the West Bank that are harming Palestinians, including in refugee camps. 

While there has been a period of humanitarian pause and some prisoners have been released, almost as many new prisoners are being arbitrarily detained in the West Bank.

“While as part of the humanitarian pause prisoners are being released on the other hand almost the same number of new prisoners are being arbitrarily detained in the West Bank.”

On this occasion, Marsudi also questioned when the atrocities committed by Israel would end. She also questioned the fate of the people of Gaza, the West Bank, and Palestine as a whole, and whether they would have a better future. 

Once again, Marsudi reiterated that the UN Security Council holds great responsibility for maintaining world peace and security. While welcoming UNSC Resolution 2712 and the humanitarian pause, Marsudi firmly stated that these measures are not enough, in fact far from enough.

“But is it enough? No it is not sufficient. Humanitarian pause is too narrow and too fragile, and will not be able to create a better situation in Gaza.”

Marsudi also called on the UN Security Council not to ignore Netanyahu's policy of threatening to resume full military operations at the end of the humanitarian pause.

“I cannot understand his statement. And I further cannot understand if the Security Council let this continued threat against humanity to happen.”

Towards the end of her speech, Marsudi explicitly stated that the Council must take steps to maintain confidence in the multilateral system. The Council must ensure that hostilities are not met with retaliation and work together to move beyond the humanitarian pause to a sustainable ceasefire. For every day without fighting is progress worth striving for.

Marsudi then outlined three important things: first, unhindered humanitarian aid; second, respect for international law, especially international humanitarian law; and third, a sustainable ceasefire. 

Marsudi also emphasized Palestine's right to an independent state through a two-state solution. She concluded her speech by stressing the urgency of relaunching the peace process, especially on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

“As we honor this year's International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, let us not turn a blind eye or remain silent, to the struggle of the innocent people in Gaza, whose only sin here is being born Palestinian.”

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