A cry for statehood…Palestine UN gambit

In the next week or two The Palestinian government is going to approach the UN to vote on the status of Palestine…is it a nation state or not. The initial target is to be the Security Council which must recommend any likely candidate for state membership to the General Assembly; the Assembly itself cannot extend membership to the UN. If the council approves then Palestine becomes a member state of the UN and as such gains the rights and privileges that imbues.

There are several classes of membership to the UN. The most known is member-state…that is a recognized independent nation that is accepted as a member of the UN. In order to become a member-state, a candidate must be recommended by a 9 of the 15 members of the Security Council, then the General Assembly votes, if they candidate gets a two thirds majority, they become a member state. However, there are other lesser classes of membership.

There is a “non-member permanent observer state”…a nation that can observe and speak to the UN but does not get a vote. There are also non-member observer entities…of which the Palestinian Authority is an example. There are also observer organization, such as the EU,  other intergovernmental organization such as InterPol or NGO’s like the Red Cross.

Palestinians are experiencing extreme pressure from the US, NOT to ask for this vote and stated they will veto their request. The US, and Israel, state that the only way for Palestine to gain statehood is through negotiation with Israel.

The Palestinians rebut by pointing out that over 40yrs of occupation, the continued expansion of Jewish settlements in land that will, in theory, compose Palestine and innumerable failed negotiation have shown that Israel does not what Palestine to become a independent state…that the only option now left open is to have the UN recognize the de facto state of Palestine and with the legal rights and moral capital this status would grant the occupied lands, negotiations can proceed between equals…can proceed to successful resolution. One right of member states is to have a ‘defined territory’, something negotiations have yet to achieve.

As I already stated, the Palestinians will fail to gain full statehood via the Security Council because of the US veto, however the Palestinians then plan to ask the General Assembly to vote on Palestinian statehood. This resolution is likely to succeed however this will not grant Palestine membership to the UN but only grant it “non-member permanent observer state”’; a status currently enjoyed by the Vatican. Palestine already has “non-member permanent observer” status as an ENTITY not a nation along with a number of other non-state entries such as the EU.

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One Response to “A cry for statehood…Palestine UN gambit”

  1. Ian Says:

    Did you see this analysis that suggests by getting even observer-state status that the Palestinian government may be able to turn international opinion in their favour by forcing the media to change the language used to refer to Palestine: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/09/15/f-macdonald-palestine.html

    It’s an interesting argument in framing.

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