Guyana firm on call for Gaza ceasefire as it takes up presidency of UN Security Council


Guyana has taken up its presidency of the United Nations Security Council and at a press briefing on Thursday, Ambassador Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett said the South American country remains resolute in its call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

“Guyana has called for a ceasefire and Guyana will continue to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

“We believe we should not wait another day for that,” Rodrigues-Birkett, who is the Permanent Representative of Guyana to the UN, said.

And as Guyana serves its presidency on the council, Ambassador Rodrigues-Birkett said the country will take a “constructive” approach to a possible ceasefire in Gaza.

The Ambassador faced several questions on the situation in Gaza and the wider Israel/ Palestine conflict during the briefing on Thursday afternoon.

She consistently affirmed Guyana’s position on the matter: there should be a ceasefire and a two-state solution should be pursued.

Guyana has, for years, called for this two-state solution at various international fora. Such a solution to the Israel/ Palestine conflict would result in an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel.

Further, Ambassador Rodrigues-Birkett noted that Guyana was a founding member of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and it has long believed that a “two-state solution is the only resolution.”

This committee, established in 1975, functions to promote the rights of the Palestinian people, support the peace process and mobilise assistance.

Based on reports, the death toll in Gaza has passed 27,000 following attacks from Israel. Israel’s offensive was prompted by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel, which killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took about 250 people hostage, according to Israeli authorities.

Outside of its firm stance on a Gaza ceasefire, Ambassador Rodrigues-Birkett said Guyana has a packed schedule for February. During the month, there will be 16 mandated meetings including talks on Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Guyana also has its “signature event” on February 13. This will be a high-level debate on climate change and food security, chaired by Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres is expected to be part of this engagement.

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