UNGA Votes To Expand Rights For Palestine Asks Security Council To Reconsider Request For Full Membership Gaza War Israel

In a significant move, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has endorsed a resolution to grant new “rights and privileges” to Palestine, urging the Security Council to reconsider its request for full United Nations membership. The assembly, comprised of 193 member states, approved the resolution sponsored by Arab and Palestinian entities with a notable majority, voting 143-9 with 25 abstentions.

According to news agency AP, the United States, echoing its stance conveyed during the Security Council discussions, reiterated its opposition to the assembly resolution. Robert Wood, U.S. deputy ambassador, underscored on Thursday the Biden administration’s objection, aligning with Israel’s stance against the resolution. Wood stated, “We’ve been very clear from the beginning there is a process for obtaining full membership in the United Nations.”

According to the U.N. Charter, prospective members must be deemed “peace-loving,” with their admission recommended by the Security Council before final approval by the General Assembly. Palestine achieved the status of a U.N. non-member observer state in 2012.

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Renewed Push For Palestinian Membership Amid Gaza War

The renewed push for Palestinian membership coincides with heightened tensions stemming from the conflict in Gaza, thrusting the Israeli-Palestinian issue into the global spotlight. Concerns raised during negotiations led to significant amendments in the resolution’s draft to address apprehensions voiced by the United States, Russia, and China, AP reported.

The final draft omits language proposing equality with member states and stipulates decisions regarding Palestinian rights and privileges as “exceptional” without setting a precedent. Notably, the draft annex delineates various rights and privileges for Palestine, including participation in U.N. conferences and the right to speak on diverse issues, albeit without voting rights.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s initial bid for U.N. membership in 2011 faltered in the Security Council due to insufficient support. Subsequently, the General Assembly elevated Palestine’s status to that of a non-member observer state, facilitating participation in international forums and organisations.

Despite the setback in the Security Council vote on April 18, where the United States wielded its veto power, the Palestinians garnered increased backing for full U.N. membership. The vote witnessed 12 countries in favor, with the United Kingdom and Switzerland abstaining.

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