NIn a statement to the press at the UN headquarters in New York, Guterres marked the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, “a period in which Muslims around the world celebrate and spread the values ​​of peace, reconciliation and solidarity”, and recalled that , despite this moment, the “murders, bombings and bloodshed continue in Gaza”.

“My strongest call today is to honor the spirit of Ramadan by silencing the guns — and removing all obstacles to ensure the delivery of vital aid at the speed and massive scale required,” urged the United Nations leader regarding the situation in the enclave.

“The eyes of the world are watching. The eyes of history are watching. We cannot look away. We must act to prevent more preventable deaths,” he added.

At the same time, invoking the compassionate spirit of Ramadan, the secretary-general called for the immediate release of all hostages.

“We have witnessed, month after month, killing and destruction of civilians at a level unprecedented in all my years as Secretary-General. Meanwhile, vital aid to Palestinians in Gaza is arriving in trickles — if at all.” not even,” he said.

“International humanitarian law is in tatters. And a threat of an Israeli attack on Rafah could plunge the people of Gaza into an even deeper circle of hell,” Guterres stressed.

The former Portuguese prime minister recalled the meetings he has held over the last few months with families of victims of the war between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas, highlighting the “remarkable courage” and the “unfathomable pain” he witnessed.

While families of Israeli hostages pleaded with Hamas to immediately release their loved ones, Guterres noted, Palestinian families who lost family members to Israeli bombings pleaded for an immediate ceasefire.

“As one of these family members said, ‘We’re not here for condolences. We’re not here for excuses. We’re here for immediate action’. Is that too much to ask? We must listen and heed these voices. Desperate civilians need immediate action,” reinforced the UN leader.

The situation in Sudan was also the target of appeals from António Guterres, who urged the cessation of hostilities in the country during Ramadan.

The fighting in Sudan, a country at war where 18 million people are in a situation of acute food insecurity, “must end for the good of the Sudanese people who face hunger, horrors and incalculable difficulties”, stressed Guterres.

The United Nations Security Council last week approved a resolution calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Sudan during the Ramadan period.

The fighting, which has been ongoing since April 15, 2023, between the army of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and the paramilitary forces of General Mohammed Hamdane Daglo, former second commander of the armed forces, has caused thousands of deaths in this nation where the vast majority is Muslim .

“In Gaza, Sudan and elsewhere, it is a time for peace. I call on political, religious and community leaders around the world to do everything in their power to make this sacred time a time of empathy, action and peace “, he emphasized.

“It is time to end the terrible suffering. Now is the time to do so,” Guterres concluded.

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