a massive but symbolic vote at the UN in favor of Palestinian membership

a massive but symbolic vote at the UN in favor of Palestinian membership
a massive but symbolic vote at the UN in favor of Palestinian membership

A vote was held this Friday, May 10 at the United Nations to position itself on a request for membership from the Palestinians. A purely symbolic vote, due to an American veto.

Provoking the anger of Israel, an overwhelming majority of the UN General Assembly ruled this Friday, May 10 that the Palestinians deserve to be full members of the organization, granting them some additional rights in the absence of a real accession blocked by the United States.

“I have stood at this podium hundreds of times, often in tragic circumstances, but none comparable to what my people are experiencing today,” said Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour.

“I have stood at this platform hundreds of times, but never for a vote more important than today, historic,” he added, his voice tight with emotion.

This resolution “will have a significant impact on the future of the Palestinian people”, even if in itself, it “does not do justice to the State of Palestine” which remains an observer, added the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates Mohamed Issa Abushahab, on behalf of the Arab countries.

A “non-member observer state” status

Faced with the war in Gaza, the Palestinians, who have had “non-member observer state” status since 2012, relaunched their 2011 request at the beginning of April demanding to become a full member state of the United Nations.

To succeed, such an initiative requires, before a vote by the General Assembly by a two-thirds majority, a positive recommendation from the Security Council. But the United States vetoed it on April 18.

Even if the General Assembly cannot bypass this veto, the Palestinians have decided to turn to its 193 member states, thus proving that without the American veto, they would have the two-thirds majority necessary to validate membership.

The resolution presented by the United Arab Emirates, adopted by 143 votes in favor, 9 against and 25 abstentions, “finds that the State of Palestine meets the conditions required to become a member” of the UN, and “should therefore be admitted to the ‘Organization”.

She thus requests that the Security Council “favorably reconsider the question”.

But the United States, which opposes any recognition outside of a bilateral agreement between the Palestinians and their Israeli ally, warned Friday that if the issue returns to the Council, it expects “an outcome similar to April “.

A previous?

“We could find ourselves in a sort of disastrous diplomatic loop with the Assembly repeatedly calling on the Council to accept Palestinian membership and the United States vetoing it,” commented Richard Gowan, analyst at International Crisis Group.

In this perspective, the text immediately grants “exceptionally and without this constituting a precedent”, a series of “additional rights and privileges” to the Palestinians from the 79th session of the Assembly in September.

Unambiguously excluding the right to vote and to be a member of the Security Council, this resolution will allow them, for example, to directly submit proposals and amendments, without going through a third country, or to sit among the member states in alphabetical order. .

“It makes me sick”

Even though these measures are largely symbolic, Israel, whose government rejects the two-state solution, castigated the resolution.

“This makes me sick,” Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan said from the podium, accusing the Assembly of “giving state rights to an entity already partially controlled by terrorists.”

“With this new precedent, we could see representatives of Daesh or Boko Haram sitting among us here.” “You are reducing the Charter to shreds, shame on you!”, he said again, putting his words into action by passing the text of the UN Charter through a shredder.

The United States, which voted against, had also widely expressed its reservations about the initiative. The Americans still believe that “unilateral measures at the UN and on the ground” will not allow progress towards lasting peace and a two-state solution, insisted Nate Evan

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