Wednesday, May 29, 2024

US vetoes Palestinian bid to gain statehood at the UN


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United Nations, April 19: The US has vetoed a resolution in the UN Security Council on the latest Palestinian bid to be granted full membership of the United Nations, an outcome lauded by Israel but criticised by Palestine as “unfair, immoral, and unjustified”.
The 15-nation Council voted on a draft resolution Thursday that would have recommended to the 193-member UN General Assembly “that the State of Palestine be admitted to membership in the United Nations.” The resolution got 12 votes in its favour, with Switzerland and the UK abstaining and the US casting its veto.
To be adopted, the draft resolution required at least nine Council members voting in its favour, with no vetoes by any of its five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Palestinian attempts for recognition as a full member state began in 2011. Palestine is currently a non-member observer state, a status that was granted in November 2012 by the UN General Assembly.
This status allows Palestine to participate in proceedings of the world body but it cannot vote on resolutions. The only other non-member Observer State at the UN is the Holy See, representing the Vatican.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz praised the US for vetoing what he called a “shameful proposal.” “The proposal to recognise a Palestinian state, more than 6 months after the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and after the sexual crimes and other atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists was a reward for terrorism”, Katz wrote on X, after the US veto.
US Ambassador Robert Wood, Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs, said in the explanation of the vote at the Security Council meeting on Palestinian membership that Washington continues to strongly support a two-state solution.
“It remains the US view that the most expeditious path toward statehood for the Palestinian people is through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority with the support of the United States and other partners,” he said.
“This vote does not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood, but instead is an acknowledgement that it will only come from direct negotiations between the parties.” Wood said there are “unresolved questions” as to whether Palestine meets the criteria to be considered a State.
“We have long called on the Palestinian Authority to undertake necessary reforms to help establish the attributes of readiness for statehood and note that Hamas – a terrorist organisation – is currently exerting power and influence in Gaza, an integral part of the state envisioned in this resolution,” he said, adding that “For these reasons, the United States voted “no” on this Security Council resolution.” Wood noted that since the October 7 attacks last year against Israel by Hamas, US President Joe Biden has been clear that sustainable peace in the region can only be achieved through a two-state solution, with Israel’s security guaranteed.
“There is no other path that guarantees Israel’s security and future as a democratic Jewish state. There is no other path that guarantees Palestinians can live in peace and with dignity in a state of their own. And there is no other path that leads to regional integration between Israel and all its Arab neighbours, including Saudi Arabia,” he said.
The Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, sharply criticised the US veto, saying that it was “unfair, immoral, and unjustified, and defies the will of the international community, which strongly supports the State of Palestine obtaining full membership in the United Nations.” (AP)


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