On November 2nd, following unsuccessful attempts at a ceasefire, Ambassador Beresford-Hill delivered a powerful and poignant statement to the General Assembly, addressing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the West Bank and Gaza. His address fundamentally implored member states to transcend self-interest and geopolitics, urging them to forge a peaceful settlement that could adequately meet the essential needs of the over 2 million Palestinians in Gaza.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Beresford-Hill illustrated the scale of depravity in Gaza. With a focus on the deteriorating healthcare situation, he detailed how the aerial bombardment and fuel shortages are creating a fatal and untenable situation. He criticized the blockade and quoted a surgeon in Gaza who stated, ‘Without electricity, this hospital becomes a mass grave.’
Ambassador Beresford-Hill’s statement leveraged our non-partisan position and emphasized unity to combat inaction. He reaffirmed the Order of Malta’s commitment to serving the most vulnerable and stated, ‘It is the innocent, particularly women and children, who ultimately bear the heaviest burden,’ establishing a clear sense of responsibility for the people of Palestine living in dire conditions. Drawing from our experience operating the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem, he illustrated the suffering caused by the blockade, especially for pregnant women. Highlighting this vulnerability, he appealed to the General Assembly to safeguard the common good and ‘live up to its Charter, for the sake of the children of Palestine and Israel.’
Ambassador Beresford-Hill concluded by reminding the Assembly of our duty to future generations and to God, imploring action to significantly increase the amount of critical aid entering Gaza.