170 days of distraction – Finally, a ceasefire resolution, but this is only the beginning

London, 25th March 2024 – 14 countries voted in favour of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSC) calling for an immediate ceasefire, with only the U.S.A. abstaining. The resolution was proposed by the E-10 group, the ten elected members of the council. 

As a UNSC resolution, this effectively ensures that the call for immediate ceasefire passes into international law. The motion provides for a ceasefire only until the end of Ramadan, the 9th April 2024.

Whilst this development is a welcome, albeit belated, positive step, it remains a watered-down statement. A ceasefire must be permanent as well as immediate. Instead, the resolution approved merely calls for a ‘lasting ceasefire’. 

This resolution calls for a ceasefire during Ramadan, meaning it will expire by the 9th April 2024. This means it will only provide a brief window for parties to reach a ‘lasting sustainable ceasefire’ afterwards. It is not yet clear what mechanisms, including possible sanctions, could be adopted by the UNSC in the case of Israel’s failure to comply with the resolution’s terms.

It is the first time the USA abstained on a UNSC resolution vote and the first time the UK voted for a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire. Whilst welcome, it is indefensible that it took 170 days for this position to finally move. The international community, including the UK, must not only ensure an implementation of a permanent ceasefire to end the genocide, but also ensure a ceasefire is lasting.

ICJP Director Tayab Ali said:

“Whilst waiting powerlessly for the world to act, we’ve had to endure 170 days of distraction, disdain and disaster. 

The international order has failed day in and day out to surmount the smallest of hurdles in calling for an immediate ceasefire and so many Palestinian people have paid the ultimate price for the world’s apathy.

The cessation of failure should not be mistaken for success, but at least now, there is an opportunity. The international community including the UK must grasp it with both hands to ensure not only an end to the genocide, but also genuine progress towards a resolution with recognition of the State of Palestine and the self-determination of the Palestinian people lying at the heart of it.”


Notes to Editors:

  1. The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians is an independent organisation of lawyers, politicians and academics who support the rights of Palestinians and aim to protect their rights through the law.  
  2. For more information, or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, please contact the ICJP news desk at [email protected].