I.P.O. Information Service


Attack on Gaza / United Nations / Arab League

Urgent call for emergency special session of U.N. General Assembly


Vienna, 31 December 2008


In an urgent message addressed to United Nations member states and to the President of the General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, the International Progress Organization (I.P.O.) called for the convening of an Emergency Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly to deal with the escalating situation in Gaza (Palestine) caused by the massive Israeli bombardment. Because of the paralysis of the UN Security Council  - due to the threat of an American veto - and the inaction of the concerned regional organization, the League of Arab States, it is up to the United Nations member states to deal with the situation on the basis of the provisions of the Uniting for Peace Resolution (res. 377 A [V]) and to recommend urgent measures for a peaceful settlement.

The disproportionate use of force by Israel against the people and infrastructure of Gaza has led to the death of a large number of civilians and constitutes a serious breach of basic provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, the I.P.O. message said. Because of the ongoing total blockade imposed on the population of Gaza, the civilians are prevented to flee from the fighting and seek shelter outside the fighting zone. The political and military leaders who are responsible for this predicament of the civilian population are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity that are punishable under international criminal law.

The International Progress Organization further stated that the leadership of the Arab Republic of Egypt bears grave responsibility for the assault on the people of Gaza and the resulting humanitarian catastrophe since Egypt has been enforcing the Israeli blockade along its border with Gaza - and continues to do so even now, under the conditions of all-out war waged against the inhabitants of Gaza. This behaviour obviously constitutes a serious breach of Egypt's obligations under the Charter of the League of Arab States, but also as a State Party to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

The International Progress Organization recalled the statement made on 26 November 2008 by the organization's President, Dr. Hans Koechler, at the United Nations Office at Vienna in which the I.P.O. had condemned the collective punishment of the population of Gaza and had called for political and coercive legal measures, on the part of the United Nations, the European Union and other concerned intergovernmental organizations, to bring to an end the illegal acts of the occupying power in Palestine.

  • I.P.O. statement at United Nations meeting on 26 November 2008

  • I.P.O. web site on the human rights situation in Palestine

International Progress Organization 
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