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Canada’s explanation of vote on the December 12, 2023 resolution tabled at the UN General Assembly

December 13, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

“Canada mourns every Israeli and Palestinian innocent life that has been lost in this conflict and expresses profound condolences to all families and communities affected by this terrible violence.

“Canada continues to unequivocally condemn Hamas’s brutal terrorist attacks against Israel on October 7, 2023, including its sexual and gender-based violence and the killing, maiming and abduction of civilians.

“We also continue to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining hostages and demand they be treated humanely, in accordance with international law.

“We reiterate the call for the facilitated departure of all foreign nationals, including Canadians, who are trying to leave Gaza.

“We recognise Israel’s right to defend itself. In defending itself, Israel must respect international humanitarian law. Civilians and civilian infrastructure must be protected. We are alarmed at the diminishing safe space for civilians in Gaza. The price of defeating Hamas cannot be the continuous suffering of Palestinian civilians. Canada remains deeply concerned by the humanitarian crisis and its severe impact on Palestinian civilians, especially women and children.

“The ongoing humanitarian crisis has weighed heavily in Canada’s decision to support this resolution.

“The recent pause in hostilities saw the release of more than 100 hostages and allowed for greater humanitarian access to affected Palestinian civilians. Canada regrets that this pause could not be extended and continues to call for much-needed fuel, water and other humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians in Gaza.

“To this end, Canada supports the humanitarian ceasefire referred to in this resolution as a necessary step to protect civilians, allow for much more humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and allow for foreign nationals, including Canadians, to leave Gaza. In supporting this resolution, Canada reiterates that a sustainable ceasefire cannot be one-sided. Hamas must release all hostages, stop using Palsestinian civilians as human shields, stop intentionally occupying civilian sites for terrorist purposes and lay down its weapons. We continue to support a clear statement from the General Assembly calling out the role of Hamas in the conflict, including its taking of hostages and its use of human shields. One day, we will get one. This is why we supported the amendment proposed by Austria and the United States to the resolution, and why we joined Australia and New Zealand in saying that Hamas can have no future role in the governance of Gaza.

“Canada remains committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security.”


Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada

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