Palestine Fails to Get Full UN Membership Due to US Veto

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In a vote of 12 in favour to one against, with two abstentions, the Council did not adopt a draft resolution that would have recommended the General Assembly to hold a vote with the broader UN membership to allow Palestine to join as a full UN Member State.

New Delhi (ABC Live): In a vote of 12 in favour to one against, with two abstentions, the Council did not adopt a draft resolution that would have recommended the General Assembly to hold a vote with the broader UN membership to allow Palestine to join as a full UN Member State.

The draft resolution is among the shortest in the Council’s history: “The Security Council, having examined the application of the State of Palestine for admission to the United Nations (S/2011/592), recommends to the General Assembly that the State of Palestine be admitted to membership in the United Nations.”

For a draft resolution to pass, the Council must have at least nine members in favour and none of its permanent members – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States – using their veto power.

Amid the ongoing war in Gaza, Palestine had submitted a request to the Secretary-General on 2 April, asking that a 2011 request to become a UN Member State be reconsidered.

In 2011, the Security Council considered the request but was not able to find unity in sending a recommendation to the General Assembly, which according to the UN Charter must hold a vote involving its 193 Member States.

Earlier this month, the Security Council sent the latest request to its Committee on the Admission of Member States, which met on 8 and 11 April to discuss the matter.

Palestine has been a Permanent Observer at the UN since 2012, before which it was an observer in the UN General Assembly.

Palestine’s current status

Right now, Palestine is a “Permanent Observer State” at the UN, enjoying the status that allows it to participate in all of the Organization’s proceedings, except for voting on draft resolutions and decisions in its main organs and bodies, from the Security Council to the General Assembly and its six main committees.

However, some other participation is off-limits to Permanent Observers. This was made clear by a General Assembly resolution, which temporarily, for the year 2019 during which Palestine served as chair of the Group of 77 developing countries and China (G77), accorded to Palestine additional rights: to submit proposals and amendments and introduce them, to exercise a right of reply and to raise procedural motions, including points of order and requests to put proposals to the vote. These rights temporarily accorded to Palestine then expired as of 2020.

On 2 April 2024, Palestine sent the UN Secretary-General a letter requesting renewed consideration be given to the application of Palestine for admission to membership in the UN, a request originally submitted in 2011. Upon receipt of the request, the UN chief forwarded it to the Security Council, which on 8 April took up the matter in an open meeting.

The process is a continuation of what happened in September 2011, when the Palestinian President sent a letter with the application request for UN membership to the UN chief, who promptly sent the application to the Security Council and the General Assembly. In accordance with the Council’s provisional rules of procedure, the Security Council referred the matter to its Committee on Admission of New Members, where members deliberated but were not unanimous on approving the request.

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