Fri 19 Apr 2024 9:01 am - Jerusalem Time

An American veto against Palestine’s full membership in the United Nations

In the UN Security Council on Thursday, the United States used its veto power to prevent the issuance of a resolution that would open the door to granting the State of Palestine full membership in the United Nations.

The draft resolution submitted by Algeria, which “recommends to the General Assembly, consisting of 193 countries, that the State of Palestine be accepted as a member of the United Nations,” was supported by 12 members, with two members abstaining from voting, Britain and Switzerland, while the United States, which has veto power as one of the five permanent member states, opposed it in the Security Council.

Despite the American veto, “the overwhelming support from Council members sends a very clear message that the State of Palestine deserves its place” in the United Nations, according to Algerian Ambassador Ammar Ben Jama, promising on behalf of the Arab group to resubmit this request at a later time, adding, “Yes.” "We will come back stronger."

During the session, Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ambassador Hossam Zaki, called on the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities and not disappoint the hopes of the Palestinian people and their legitimate quest for independence and membership in the international organization.

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According to Reuters, the Palestinians currently have the status of a non-member state with observer status, which is a de facto recognition of the existence of a Palestinian state that was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. However, the application for full membership in the international organization requires the approval of the Security Council and then not less than two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly.

The Palestinian attempt to gain full membership in the United Nations comes six months after the outbreak of war between Israel and the Palestinian resistance led by Hamas, and at a time when Israel is expanding its settlements in the occupied West Bank.

During the Security Council session, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned that "the Middle East is on the brink of abyss, and the past few days have witnessed a dangerous escalation, whether in words or actions."

Guterres said, "Any error in judgement, poor communication, or lapse could lead to the unthinkable, to a broad regional conflict that would be devastating for all concerned," calling for "the utmost levels of restraint."

According to Agence France-Presse, a country is accepted as a member of the United Nations by a decision issued by the General Assembly by a two-thirds majority, but only after a positive recommendation to this effect from the Security Council.

The recommendation is issued by the Security Council pursuant to a resolution that must be approved by at least 9 of the Council’s 15 members, provided that no permanent member state uses its veto against it.

According to the Palestinian Authority, 137 of the 193 UN member states have to date recognized the State of Palestine.


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An American veto against Palestine’s full membership in the United Nations