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UN. Palestine with permanent member status. Resolution passed

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Palestine is getting closer to membership in the United Nations. The General Assembly passed a resolution on Friday supporting the granting of permanent member status to Palestine. Poland was among the 143 countries voting for the resolution. The granting of permanent member status must still be approved by the Security Council.

The UN General Assembly called for a reconsideration of the proposal to grant Palestinians membership in the United Nations.

Under the United Nations Charter, potential UN members must be “peace-loving” and the Security Council must recommend their admission to the General Assembly for final approval. In 2012, Palestine became a non-UN member observer state.

Eligible for membership

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The draft resolution “specifies” that the State of Palestine is eligible for membership – abandoning the original language that it is a “peace-loving state” in the General Assembly's judgment. The document recommends that the Security Council reconsider the member status request “favourably.”

Israeli ambassador to Poland Yakov Liwne reacted to the Polish position on this resolution with an entry on the X website:

“Poland's support for Palestine's membership in the UN after the massacre of 7/10 (October 7, 2023) is: 1. A dangerous precedent rewarding the aggressor. 2. A continuation of the 1988 decision under Soviet aegis to recognize the 'Palestinian state'. 3. Rewarding Iran and Hamas, contrary to the position of the US and Israel. 4. A complete violation of the UN Charter for political gain. This is a bad and harmful decision for security, stability and Poland.

The final draft dropped the phrase that would have placed Palestine “on an equal footing with member states.” There is, among others: provision on the question of voting, which reads: “The State of Palestine shall have no right to vote in the General Assembly.”

The UN General Assembly passed a resolution granting permanent member status to PalestineSARAH YENESEL/PAP/EPA

List of privileges

The list of new privileges includes, among others: granting Palestine the right to speak on all issues, not just those related to the Palestinians and the Middle East, to propose agenda items and respond to debates; the right to be elected chairman of the main committees of the Assembly; the right to participate in UN and international conferences convened by this organization.

On April 18, the US vetoed a widely supported Security Council resolution that would have paved the way for full Palestinian membership in the UN. The deputy US ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, admitted on Friday that his country voted against the resolution, although it supports a two-state solution, i.e. providing for the existence of independent Israel and Palestine. He reiterated that there is a process to obtain full membership in the United Nations. He saw direct negotiations with Israel as the best way to ensure Palestine's full membership in the UN. He added that Palestine retains observer status. There is no, among others: the right to elect members of the Security Council.

Unlike the Security Council, the 193-member General Assembly has no veto when voting. The resolution was approved by an overwhelming majority. Representatives of the majority of countries speaking after the vote supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Main photo source: SARAH YENESEL/PAP/EPA

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