Swedish Statement at the UN Security Council briefing on the Middle East


National statement delivered by Ambassador Carl Skau on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council briefing on the Middle East (Gaza), 30 March 2018, New York.

Mr. President,

We are appalled by the regrettable loss of life and the large number of wounded today, including reportedly children, of which all seem to be Palestinian. These events must be immediately and properly investigated by the authorities.

It seems that the Israeli security forces have used live ammunition, which has further exacerbated the gravity of the situation. The use of force most always be proportional, and lethal use of force should be used only as a last resort. Israel must uphold its responsibilities under international human rights law and respect the right to peaceful protest.
We also note with concern the air strikes carried out by Israel in Gaza.

Mr. President,

This situation should not come as a surprise to this Council. Special Coordinator Mladenov warned us only a few days ago about the risks for escalating violence in and around Gaza. This situation is extremely worrisome. Our focus must now be on avoiding further violent escalation on the ground. All parties – and in particular the Israeli security forces – must exercise maximum restraint.

Mr. President,

As we know from previous briefings in this Chamber, the humanitarian situation in Gaza is terrible. Gaza is on the verge of collapse. A sustainable solution must urgently be sought, including an end to the Israeli closure policy. Gaza is an integral part of the state of Palestine and cannot be separated from the broader political context, including the much needed peace efforts, leading to a two-state solution.

I thank you.


Lisa Laskaridis
Head of Press and Communication, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN
Phone +1 212 583 2543
Mobile +1 917 239 0941
email to Lisa Laskaridis