Speech by Mexico in the UN Security Council open debate on the situation in the Middle East

Remarks by Alicia Guadalupe Buenrostro Massieu, chargé d'affaires at the Permanent Representation of Mexico to the UN

Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores | 24 de octubre de 2023
Speech by Mexico in the UN Security Council open debate on the situation in the Middle East Speech by Mexico in the UN Security Council open debate on the situation in the Middle East

Mr. President:

Mexico is participating in this meeting in view of the critical escalation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas and the situation in the Gaza Strip, an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory. If not stopped immediately, this conflict is on track to cause a humanitarian disaster of immeasurable and unprecedented proportions.

We recognize and appreciate the humanitarian work done by the UN under the leadership of the Secretary-General, and we deeply lament the death of 35 UN workers.

1. Condemnation of the terrorist attacks and a call for an immediate halt to the hostilities

Mexico reiterates its strong and unequivocal condemnation of all forms and manifestations of terrorism and violent extremism, regardless of who, where, and for what purpose it is committed. As this Council has stated, “Any act of terrorism constitutes a threat to international peace and security.”[1]

My country reiterates its strong condemnation of the October 7 terrorist attacks against Israel by Hamas and other extremist organizations in Gaza, which have claimed the lives of more than 1,400 people. And Mexico joins the Secretary-General in demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages being held by Hamas, which include two Mexicans.

The Israeli response, on the other hand, has resulted in almost 5,000 deaths, more than 14,200 injured, and incalculable damage to civilian infrastructure. 

Mexico recognizes Israel's right to protect its citizens and its territory, as well as to guarantee its security, but this must be done in full compliance with international law, and with the principles of necessity and proportionality that govern any use of force.

We call for an immediate and lasting cessation of hostilities throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, especially the indiscriminate attacks and violence against of civilians, by all parties to the conflict, and we call for lifting the state of siege in which the Palestinian population currently finds itself in Gaza, in accordance with Resolution 1860 (2009).

2. Humanitarian situation in Gaza

According to international humanitarian law, any indiscriminate or directed attack against the civilian population under any circumstances, and against medical and humanitarian personnel, or against civilian property and essential infrastructure, is contrary to the principle of distinction, applicable to all situations of armed conflict, at all times and places. These behaviors could constitute war crimes, as they are serious violations of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Any retaliation is contrary to international law.

Mexico condemns and repudiates, in the strongest terms, the events that occurred at the Al Ahli hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, and all other attacks that have taken place in recent days on civilian facilities and property.

Therefore, an independent and impartial investigation of these attacks is essential, to clarify the facts, attribute responsibility, and ensure accountability.

We welcome the humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.  However, the 34 truckloads that have entered are insufficient, which is why we are making an urgent call for the uninterrupted entry of humanitarian supplies, including water and fuel. Civilians must also be allowed to use this corridor between Gaza and Egypt, as well as the West Bank-East Jerusalem corridor.

Mexico also expresses great concern about the increased intensity and frequency of incidents of violence, military roadblocks and attacks by Israeli settlers, and we are alarmed by a possible Israeli military incursion into northern Gaza, which would only aggravate conditions for the civilian population.

3. Paralysis of the Security Council

In this context, Mexico considers unacceptable the United States' use of the veto on October 18 to prevent the Security Council from acting. The draft resolution (S/2023/773) proposed by Brazil was a balanced text of an essentially humanitarian nature.

Since 1945, Mexico has taken an unwavering stance against the use of the veto, and we reiterate our call to those who have not yet done so to join the Franco-Mexican initiative on restricting the use of the veto, which already has 106 signatories.

4. Occupation under international law

Mr. President:

Responsibility for resuming the peace process and de-escalating the current violence lies with the parties directly involved in the conflict. The Security Council and international community have a collective responsibility to promote a political process aimed at promoting a lasting peace. We recognize Egypt for convening last weekend's Peace Summit, and we call on regional actors to exercise the utmost restraint to prevent the conflict from expanding.

No occupation is lawful and is always the result of a breakdown of the international order in contravention of the UN Charter. Nor is there the right to an indefinite occupation that has already altered, for the benefit of the Occupying Power, the demographic, economic and social realities of the occupied territory and its inhabitants, creating potentially irreversible changes on the ground.

Under international law, any territory acquired through the use of force is null and void, and the international community has the obligation to demand that the Occupying Power cease its occupation and all other acts affecting the territorial integrity of the State of Palestine, and to abide by to the Council's resolutions.

Until we address the structural causes of conflict, including oppression and recurring human rights violations, we will continue to see more cycles of violence and destruction.


Mexico supports a comprehensive and definitive political solution to the conflict based on the premise of two States, that addresses Israel's legitimate security concerns and allows for the consolidation of a politically and economically viable Palestinian State that lives side by side with Israel within secure and internationally recognized borders, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions.

As Mexico's Foreign Secretary said on September 23 at the General Assembly, we must “recognize the right of the people of Israel, but not at the expense of the Palestinian people.”

Mexico, a country whose foreign policy adheres to international law, has always defended and will always defend the peaceful settlement of disputes over the threat or use of force.

For this reason, we will continue to support all efforts aimed at establishing a peace based on mutual respect and fully compliant with international law.

Thank you.

[1]Resolutions 1368 (2001) and 1373 (2001)


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