UN panel considers Palestinian bid for full membership

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had initially submitted a UN membership application in 2011, though it wasn’t deliberated upon by the Security Council…reports Asian Lite News

The President of the United Nations Security Council, on Monday, forwarded an application by the Palestinian Authority seeking full membership of the UN to its membership committee for consideration. Vanessa Frazier, Malta’s Permanent Representative to the UN, disclosed that the 15-member committee is slated to deliberate on Palestine’s status and make a decision by the end of the month. Frazier emphasized the importance of adherence to the council’s procedural norms, highlighting that any council member can present a resolution for membership voting at any time.

The membership committee convened on Monday afternoon to initiate the evaluation process. Its task involves scrutinizing the application’s merits before determining whether to advance it to the Security Council for a vote. For approval, the application necessitates at least nine affirmative votes, devoid of any vetoes from the council’s five permanent members: the US, Russia, China, France, and the UK.

The urgency of granting full UN membership to the State of Palestine was underscored by the Arab group of nations at the UN, who articulated it as pivotal for advancing conflict resolution efforts in the region based on a two-state solution. Abdulaziz Al-Wasil, Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to the UN and current President of the Arab Group, expressed hope for requisite support in this endeavor.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had initially submitted a UN membership application in 2011, though it wasn’t deliberated upon by the Security Council. However, the subsequent year, the General Assembly accorded the “State of Palestine” the status of a non-member observer state.

Despite the recent submission of a letter by the Palestinian Authority to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urging reconsideration of the membership application, current US legislation poses a significant hurdle. Granting full UN recognition to a Palestinian state would necessitate the cessation of funding to the UN and its agencies by the US, in compliance with existing laws.

The discourse surrounding Palestine’s UN membership evoked strong reactions, with Israel’s UN Ambassador, Gilad Erdan, vehemently opposing it, labeling it as rewarding criminal acts. This sentiment was echoed by Russia’s Permanent Representative, Vasily Nebenzia, who questioned the credibility of objections from parties rejecting the two-state solution. Meanwhile, Palestine’s Permanent Observer at the UN, Riyad Mansour, reiterated the imperative of recognition and membership for ending the occupation, emphasizing the need for global solidarity to achieve peace.

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