The Malta Independent 26 May 2024, Sunday
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Bid for Palestine to become full member of the UN could be heading for a veto

Thursday, 18 April 2024, 12:37 Last update: about 2 months ago

Kevin Schembri Orland reporting from New York City

More than ten of the United Nations Security Council members are expected to vote in favour of a Palestinian request for full UN membership, but the vote could be heading for a veto.

The Palestinians made a fresh bid for full U.N. membership as the war between Israel and Hamas that began 7 October has now passed its sixth month.

The first time an application was filed for Palestinian membership was in 2011, but that bid had failed because the Palestinians did not receive the required support of nine of the Security Council's 15 members. "Even if they did (at the time), the United States, Israel's closest ally, had promised at that time to veto any council resolution endorsing Palestinian membership, saying this should follow a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians," the Associated Press has reported.


Following this, the Palestinians had gone before the General Assembly, in which there are no vetoes but requires a two-thirds majority vote. Here, its status had been raised to a non-member observer state in 2012.

On the upcoming vote expected on Thursday, sources indicated that the USA might use its veto.

The Associated Press recently reported that "The United States has repeatedly said full U.N. membership should follow a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians."

"'Our position has not changed,' U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood told several reporters, reiterating that the issue of full Palestinian membership in the U.N. is one of the final status issues to be decided in bilateral talks between the Palestinians and Israel on a peace agreement," the Associated Press reported earlier this month. 

Speaking to Maltese journalists on Wednesday, Malta's UN Ambassador Vanessa Frazier said some will tell you that they recognise the right to Palestinian statehoodthere but that now isn't the right time due to the conflict, or that they might not know who the legitimate government is, and so there are such considerations.

"We are not going to go against what our actions have been," she said about Malta.

Malta will be chairing the Security Council Debate about the Middle East today, and the vote that is expected regarding Palestine's full UN membership, as it is holding the Security Council Presidency for the month of April. 


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