UN chief warns of ‘age of chaos’ amid Security Council division over Gaza

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Antonio Guterres

GENEVA, Feb 8: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has issued a stark warning, describing the world as entering an “age of chaos” amidst a sharp division within the UN Security Council over Israel’s ongoing conflict with Gaza.

Expressing deep concern, Guterres highlighted Israel’s recent announcement of its intention to concentrate its military operations in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, where over a million civilians have sought refuge. He warned that such actions could exacerbate an already dire humanitarian crisis with far-reaching regional implications.

Addressing the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, Guterres emphasized the urgent need for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the unconditional release of all hostages caught in the conflict.

The current escalation began with Hamas’ attack on southern Israel on October 7, prompting a devastating Israeli response aimed at dismantling Hamas. According to an Al Jazeera tally based on Israeli figures, the Hamas attack resulted in the deaths of at least 1,139 people.

In response, Israel launched relentless airstrikes and initiated a ground invasion, leaving widespread destruction in Gaza. Palestinian authorities report at least 27,708 casualties and over 80 percent of the population displaced.

Despite repeated calls from various UN agencies for an urgent ceasefire, the Security Council remains deadlocked, failing to reach a consensus on the Gaza conflict.

Guterres lamented the council’s inability to act decisively and called for reforms to address the geopolitical divisions hindering its effectiveness. He highlighted the urgent need for multilateral cooperation to navigate the complexities of today’s world, emphasizing the upcoming “Summit of the Future” in September as an opportunity to shape a more robust framework for global peace and security.

As conflicts escalate worldwide and humanitarian needs reach unprecedented levels, Guterres stressed the urgency of adequate funding to address these challenges, warning that current funding levels are inadequate to meet the growing demand.

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