South African Proposal Highlights Urgent Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza at 148th IPU Assembly

March 26, 2024
Sylvia Lucas | Report Focus News
Sylvia Lucas

In a significant move at the 148th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Ms. Sylvia Lucas, leading the South African Parliamentary delegation, made a compelling case for the inclusion of a critical motion as an emergency item on the agenda. The proposed motion aimed at addressing the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza and underscored the importance of international action.

Titled “Raising awareness of the International Court of Justice provisional measures for Israel in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, and of the need for urgent action on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” the South African proposal calls for a comprehensive international response. It advocates for measures such as raising global awareness, facilitating the release of hostages, providing humanitarian aid, preventing violations of international law, fostering dialogue and negotiations, and supporting the two-state solution.

Lucas emphasized the gravity of the situation in Gaza, highlighting the immediate need for international attention. She pointed to the International Court of Justice’s judgment and provisional measures for Israel as a crucial framework for resolving the conflict and its humanitarian fallout.

The IPU’s procedure for accepting emergency items requires a two-thirds majority vote and limits the agenda to one emergency item per session. Despite the South African motion’s failure to secure the necessary votes—falling short by just 12 votes out of the required 916—it garnered substantial support, reflecting growing international concern for the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Although the motion did not pass, its narrow margin of defeat underscores the importance of the issues raised and the commitment of the global parliamentary community to addressing complex international crises. The Parliament of the Republic of South Africa issued a statement expressing optimism for future collaborative efforts and emphasized the need for continued dialogue and action on this pressing humanitarian matter.

The South African delegation’s efforts at the 148th IPU Assembly represent a critical step towards international parliamentary cooperation and collective action in one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises. Their initiative serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges in Gaza and the urgent need for comprehensive and immediate international response.