Sweden among 45 countries to abstain in UN General Assembly vote for Gaza ceasefire

Image of the UN General Assembly.

Image of the UN General Assembly. Credit: un.org

SWEDEN was among 45 countries that abstained during a UN General Assembly vote on a ceasefire in Gaza that took place last night, on Friday, October 27.

The resolution was eventually adopted after 120 countries voted in favour, 14 against, and with 45 abstentions, according to UN News. A call for an: ‘immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities’, had been made by the UN.

The General Assembly first voted down a Canadian proposal for an amendment to the resolution that did not pass the vote, as it failed to reach the required two-thirds majority. It condemned the Hamas terrorist attack and demanded the immediate release of the Israeli hostages.

When the General Assembly next considered a cease-fire proposal – which did not mention either Hamas or Israel – Israel, the US, Austria and the Czech Republic voted no to the ceasefire, while France and Russia voted yes.

Sweden, Australia, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Finland and Great Britain were among the nations that abstained.

Why did Sweden abstain?

Speaking with aftonbladet.se, Foreign Minister Tobias Billström’s press secretary Anna Erhardt explained: ‘Sweden abstained in the vote, along with a majority of EU member states, because the resolution does not clearly condemn Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel and does not refer to Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorists’.

Following the vote, Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said: ‘This is a black day for the UN and humanity. This will go down in history as a day of shame’, as reported by The Times of Israel.

Erdan continued: ‘We have all witnessed how the UN no longer has any legitimacy or relevance’, adding that his country would use ‘every means’ in fighting Hamas.

Why did other countries vote against the resolution?

Pakistan’s UN ambassador Munir Akram, who voted against singling out Hamas, said the adopted Jordanian resolution was best because it did not name either side: ‘We all know who started this. The Israeli occupation is the first sin, not what happened on October 7’, he stated, according to UN News.

The adopted UN resolution is not binding. It calls for the immediate entry of water, food, medicine, fuel and electricity, as well as unhindered access to Gaza for the UN and other humanitarian organisations.

Earlier today, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, tweeted: ‘I was encouraged by what seemed to be a growing consensus for the need of at least a humanitarian pause in the Middle East. Regrettably, instead I was surprised by an unprecedented escalation of bombardments, undermining humanitarian objectives. This situation must be reversed’.

‘I reiterate my appeal for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, together with the unconditional release of hostages & the delivery of relief at a level corresponding to the dramatic needs of the people in Gaza, where a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in front of our eyes’, he added.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com