Friday, May 24, 2024

UN assembly approves resolution granting Palestine new rights and reviving its UN membership bid

Resolution does not give Palestine full UN membership, but recognises them as qualified to join and extends rights.

The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly voted on Friday to extend new "rights and privileges" to Palestine, urging the Security Council to reevaluate its request for full membership in the United Nations.

The resolution, sponsored by Arab and Palestinian entities, garnered approval from the 193-member world body by a vote of 143-9, with 25 abstentions. The resolution aims to ensure Palestine's full and effective participation in U.N. sessions and conferences on par with member states.

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However, concerns from Russia and China, staunch supporters of Palestine's U.N. membership, arose regarding the potential precedent-setting implications for other aspiring U.N. members, such as Kosovo and Taiwan, respectively.

The U.S., as mandated by longstanding legislation, faces the prospect of funding cutoff to U.N. agencies in the event of full membership granted to Palestine, jeopardizing its status as the largest contributor to the U.N.

To address these concerns, the final draft of the resolution omits language that would place Palestine "on equal footing with member states" and adopts the rights and privileges on an "exceptional basis" without setting a precedent. Additionally, it clarifies that Palestine, as an observer state, does not possess voting rights in the General Assembly or eligibility to nominate candidates to U.N. organs.

Despite these adjustments, the annex to the draft resolution outlines various rights and privileges granted to Palestine, including the right to speak on all issues, propose agenda items, participate in debates, and hold positions in the assembly's main committees. However, the right to vote, originally included in the draft, has been omitted in the final version.

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