US vetoes widely supported resolution backing full UN membership for Palestine

US vetoes widely supported resolution backing full UN membership for Palestine

New York (Web Desk/Agencies): The Security Council today blocked Palestine’s bid to become a full member of the United Nations (UN) due to a United States (US) veto on a widely-supported resolution that would have recommended the granting of such status.

The proposal, submitted in the 15-member Council by Algeria, received 12 votes in favour, with the United States casting a negative vote and Switzerland and the United Kingdom abstaining.

Before the vote, diplomats said the US mission had been trying to convince one or two other council members to vote against, to mitigate Washington’s isolation on the issue, but American officials said they were resigned to having to wield the US veto once more in support of Israel.

“We don’t want to replace anyone; we want to enter your club as equals,” Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour told the council. He said they would not give up because the resolution was vetoed.

“The State of Palestine is inevitable,” he said. “It is real.”

A Council resolution requires at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes from its five permanent members — China, France, the Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — to pass. The Algerian draft failed, owing to a negative vote cast by a permanent member.

If adopted, the draft would have had the Security Council recommend to the 193-member General Assembly that “the State of Palestine be admitted to membership in the United Nations”.

In 2011, Palestine submitted an application to become a full UN Member State. Although that aspiration did not materialize, it obtained the status of a non-member observer State in November 2012 through an Assembly vote of 138 in favour to nine against (Canada, Czech Republic, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Panama, Palau, United States), with 41 abstentions.

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

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that recent escalations make it even more important to support good-faith efforts to find lasting peace between Israel and a fully independent, viable and sovereign Palestinian state.

“Failure to make progress towards a two-state solution will only increase volatility and risk for hundreds of millions of people across the region, who will continue to live under the constant threat of violence,” he told the Council.