Palestinian UN Recognition Vote Passes By Majority
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 30, 2012
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly has voted by a more than two-thirds majority to recognize the state of Palestine.
The resolution upgrading the Palestinians’ status to a nonmember observer state at the United Nations was approved by the 193-member world body late Thursday by a vote of 138-9 with 41 abstentions.
Addressing the General Assembly Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the historic vote was the last chance to save the two-state solution. He also told the meeting that it “is being asked today to issue the birth certificate of Palestine.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the parties to renew their commitment to negotiating peace deal.
However the US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said the UN’s vote on the Palestinians’ status places further obstacles in the path of peace.
The Palestinian bid to join the global body as a full member state failed in 2011 due to lack of support at the UN Security Council. To get the “non-member observer state” status, the Palestinians only needed a simple majority at the 193-member General Assembly, such status is already held by the Vatican.
Among many other nations the Palestinian bid for an upgraded diplomatic status was backed by a number of EU states, including France, Spain, Denmark, Portugal and Austria.
The bid had overwhelming support from developing nations.
The Palestine Liberation Organization, the umbrella group of various Palestinian factions, had previously had only “permanent observer” status at the UN.
The new status now grants the Palestinians more weight in peace talks with Israel and gives it a greater chance of joining UN agencies and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Joining the ICC would give the Palestinians greater legal basis for pursuing possible war-crimes prosecutions against the Israeli military.
However despite the support, the French Foreign Minister has warned Palestinians against pursuing Israel in the International Criminal Court, calling such a move “counter-productive.”