GA: Use of the veto

Statement delivered by Permanent Representative Ambassador Merete Fjeld Brattested - Debate pursuant to resolution 76/262


The adoption of the “veto-initiative”-resolution 76/262 was important, and a significant step in making the Council more transparent and accountable.

Norway regrets that the Security Council failed yet again on 20th February to call for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

We would like to call on the Security Council to act in accordance with its primary responsibility; the maintenance of peace and security.

Norway calls for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire.

Norway has clearly condemned the heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas on October 7. And we have called for the unconditional and immediate release of all hostages.  

The situation in Gaza is deteriorating at an alarming speed. Palestinians in Gaza continue to be deprived of their basic human rights, including the right to food, water, and health care. Children are dying, not only from bombs and guns, but due to hunger and preventable diseases.

The UN confirms that one-quarter of the population is one step away from famine, yet Israel continues to severely impede and restrict the flow of humanitarian aid into and within Gaza. Access to the population in northern Gaza is particularly urgent. Opening new crossings in the North, and a humanitarian ceasefire, would greatly improve humanitarian access.

According to International Humanitarian Law, Israel must allow for humanitarian relief to reach civilians in Gaza. This is not only a legal obligation but a moral imperative to preserve human life.


We look forward to the Advisory opinion from the ICJ, where Norway has submitted that Israel’s recent actions in Gaza include on-going indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force, and asked the Court to determine whether occupation of the Palestinian territories may have become tantamount to de facto annexation, which would be contrary to international law. Norway also recalled the historic commitment by Israel to contribute to the realization of a viable State of Palestine.

We continue to see a rapid expansion of illegal settlements and high levels of violence in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. These illegal settlements are an impediment to achieving the two-state solution and should be uprooted.  

Going forward, we need creative and innovative diplomacy to ensure an irreversible and clear path towards a two-state solution which guarantees peace and security for both peoples. Questions pertaining to international recognition of a Palestinian state and full membership in the United Nations should be part of these discussions.

In closing, Norway wants to highlight the vital role of UNRWA in these desperate times. As we heard yesterday they represent the lifeline for millions of civilians, in and outside Palestine. We urge all countries who have suspended their contributions to adhere to their commitments.

Thank you.