United Nations vote raises Palestinians' status

Palestinians win UN backing to lead developing country bloc

Only UN member-states with full recognition should be entitled to speak and act on behalf of groups of countries, US Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Cohen told the assembly ahead of the vote.

The resolution passed on Tuesday in the UN General Assembly, which was put forward by current G-77 head Egypt, will allow Palestine to function like a membership when acting on behalf of the G-77, including making statements, and submitting and cosponsoring proposals.

The 146 included some of the strongest Western allies of the United States, plus four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: UK, France, China and Russian Federation. Opposing Tuesday's vote were just three countries: Israel, Australia and the United States.

Australia was the only other country to vote against the resolution.

U.S. Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Cohen had urged the assembly to vote against the resolution saying that "we can not support efforts by the Palestinians to enhance their status outside of direct negotiations". But the Palestinians pulled off a major victory despite the behind-the-scenes lobbying both by the United States and Israel to thwart the Palestinians. The General Assembly vote was a ratification of that decision.

Last month the civilized world audibly laughed at Trump as he engaged in another boorish display of Americana at the General Assembly, he added. The US is one of roughly 50 states that refuse to recognize Palestine, demanding it engage in negotiations with Israel to achieve a lasting peace.

The Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), for its part, hailed the move, which, it said, "reflects the correct worldwide position regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state and the [Palestinian] right to enjoy full United Nations membership".

He said the USA doesn't recognise "a Palestinian state" and "if this misguided resolution is adopted", when the Palestinians speak as chair of the G77 the U.S. will remind United Nations members that "no such state has been admitted as a United Nations member state".

In her statement Haley noted that the USA had voted against the decision because it considers such a move harmful to achieving peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.

"The Palestinians are not a UN Member State or any state at all".

"Today´s United Nations mistake undermines the prospects for peace by encouraging the illusion held by some Palestinian leaders that they can advance their goals without direct peace negotiations", said Haley in a statement.

He stressed that Palestine would spare no effort to prove its competence to represent and defend the G77 and China, while also engaging constructively and transparently nwith all partners.

Beginning in 2019, "Palestine" will assume the presidency of Group 77 and as such will be able to co-sponsor proposals and amendments, make statements, raise procedural motions and give rights of reply.

Taking note of the Group of 77's decision to elect the State of Palestine as its chair for 2019, the Assembly chose to adopt several modalities for the State of Palestine's participation in the Assembly's sessions, work and the global conferences convened under its auspices or other organs of the United Nations. Israel captured those territories in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally.

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