Brazil, 23 other Celac countries call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Lula proposed a motion to the UN for an immediate end to the genocide

Published on 04/03/2024 - 11:00 By Andreia Verdélio - Agência Brasil - Brasília

Brazil and 23 other countries from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) have issued a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian enclave controlled by the Hamas group that has been the target of attacks by the Israeli government. The document addressing Israeli actions in Palestine was signed during the Celac summit on Friday (Mar. 1) in Kingstown, the capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

"Aware of the intransigence reflected in the statements of the Israeli government and the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, we deplore the killing of Israeli and Palestinian civilians, including the nearly 30,000 Palestinians killed since the beginning of Israel's incursion into Gaza. We also express deep concern about the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the suffering of the Palestinian civilian population," the statement reads.

The heads of state "strongly" endorsed the United Nations (UN) General Assembly's demand for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and for all parties to the conflict to comply with international law, especially regarding the protection of civilians. The UN resolution was adopted in December 2023.

The declaration by the CELAC countries also cites ongoing cases before the International Court of Justice to determine whether Israel's continued occupation of the State of Palestine constitutes a violation of international law and whether Israel's attack on Gaza would constitute genocide. The countries also emphasize the demand for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and reiterate the two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side within secure and recognized borders.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, during his speech at the summit, proposed a motion to the UN for an immediate end to the genocide of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, imposed by the Israeli government. For Lula, Israel's reaction to the Hamas attacks is "disproportionate and indiscriminate" and the "indifference of the international community [to the acts] is shocking."

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is the only mechanism for dialogue that brings together, in an autonomous way, all the developing countries of the American continent. Brazil rejoined CELAC in January 2023 after three years away.

Despite being one of the founding countries of CELAC, Brazil's previous government withdrew from the community, which comprises 33 countries. Rejoining the bloc was one of President Lula's first foreign policy measures at the beginning of 2023 when he took office for the third time.

Translation: Mário Nunes -  Edition: Fernando Fraga

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