Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

UN Grants Palestine expanded rights

UN Grants Palestine expanded rights

"In fact, today's vote does nothing to help the Palestinian people". An observer state can not vote on General Assembly resolutions or speak at meetings until after members, but is eligible for membership in other United Nations bodies. Australia was the only other country to vote against it.

Taking note of the Group of 77's decision to elect the State of Palestine as its chair for 2019, the Assembly chose to adopt several modalities for the State of Palestine's participation in the Assembly's sessions, work and the worldwide conferences convened under its auspices or other organs of the United Nations.

The minister highlighted that Palestine, as next President of G-77 plus China, considers that the global consensus to give its confidence ansd vote to raise its status in the United Nations is a challenge that will become opportunities for the benefit of the bloc and the world.

146 states voted in favor of Resolution A/73/L.5, while only three - the U.S., Israel and Australia - opposed it.

There were 15 abstentions and 29 countries didn't vote.

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"The Palestinians are not a U.N. member state or any state at all", U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Tuesday.

In 2012, the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine when it upgraded the Palestinian Authority's U.N. observer status to non-member state entity similar to the Vatican. However, as a non-member state, the Palestinians can not speak in meetings until after member states, diplomats said. A General Assembly resolution is required to avail the State of Palestine the rights and capacity to perform the functions and the usual practices undertaken by the chair of the Group. The G-77 has recognized Palestine as a member since 1976.

The Egyptian-drafted resolution allows them to operate procedurally a member state would when acting on behalf of the G77 and China; making statements, submitting and co-sponsoring proposals and amendments, giving rights of reply and raising points of order.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley branded the decision a "UN mistake", recalling that the "Palestinians are not a United Nations member state or any state at all" and should not be granted privileges reserved for full-fledged members.

"If this was a traditional election for the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 it is questionable whether Palestine would have been nominated, highly unlikely it would have won, and virtually out of the question it would have achieved the result it did".

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