By wide margin, UN General Assembly votes to back Palestinian bid for membership

By wide margin, UN General Assembly votes to back Palestinian bid for membership

By wide margin, UN General Assembly votes to back Palestinian bid for membership

By wide margin, UN General Assembly votes to back Palestinian bid for membership


UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations General Assembly Friday voted, by an overwhelming majority, to grant new “rights and privileges” to Palestine and called on the Security Council to favourably reconsider its request to become a full member of the UN.

The 193-member world body approved the Arab and Palestinian sponsored resolution by a vote of 143-9 with 25 abstentions.

Pakistan backed the resolution which “determines” that a state of Palestine is qualified for membership and recommends that the Security Council reconsider its request “favourably.”

The renewed push for full Palestinian membership in the UN comes as Israeli aggression in Gaza has put the more than 75-year-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict at center stage. At numerous Council and Assembly meetings, the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinians in Gaza and the killing of more than 35,000 people in the enclave, have generated worldwide outrage over Israeli atrocities.

The United States vetoed a widely backed Council resolution on April 18 that would have paved the way for full United Nations membership for Palestine, a goal the Palestinians have long sought and Israel, with the support of its powerful allies, has worked to prevent.


US Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood made clear on Thursday that the Biden administration opposed the Assembly resolution. The United States was among the nine countries voting against it, along with Israel.

Speaking before the vote, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram said there would come a day when Israel would be held accountable for the crimes committed against Palestinians, especially in Gaza.

The insults hurled today – a reference to the highly provocative speech by Israel’s UN Ambassador Gild Erdan – were “the arrogance of the aggressor”, reflecting the impunity of the occupier, and trampling inherent and the UN Charter given rights of Palestinian people to self-determination, the Pakistani envoy said.

He expressed the hope that the international community would appropriately respond.

“This is contrary to expectations of the member states, and standards and practice of the Untied Nations,” Ambassador Akram remarked.

The resolution’s adoption, he added, would determine the widespread support for Palestine to be accorded full UN membership.


Israel, Ambassador Akram said, had refused the calls by the Assembly, by the Security Council and even by its patrons and friends, to halt the massacre of innocents and accept an immediate ceasefire. The Israeli leadership had reneged on negotiated deals for a ceasefire, he said, noting it had now initiated its assault on Rafah.

Highlighting that the Palestinian people have been denied their right to self-determination since 1947 and, after 1967, obliged to live under Israel’s brutal occupation, he said the General Assembly could partially redress the historic injustice by admitting Palestine as a full member of the United Nations.

“The assertion that Palestine’s admission can happen only through negotiations reflects the inequity of this position. Negotiations must have a level playing filed. If Israel negotiates as a full member of the UN, so too should Palestine,” the Pakistani envoy said, referring to the US statement in opposing the Palestinian bid for full membership.

He added, “The adoption of this resolution will be a partial yet vital step towards redressing the historic injustice against the people of Palestine. It will reflect a political reality, which would facilitate the revival of a peace process to realize the universally agreed objective of creating a two-state solution, the objective of establishing a viable and contiguous Palestinian State along the 4th June 1967 borders, with Al-Quds as its capital.”

Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the observer State of Palestine, recounted the devastating impacts of the ongoing war in Gaza, with over 35,000 Palestinians killed, a further 80,000 injured and over two million displaced.

“No words can capture what such loss and trauma signify for Palestinians, their families, their communities and for our nation as whole,” he said.


He added that the Palestinians in Gaza had been pushed to the “very edge” of the Strip, “to the very brink of life” with “bombs and bullets haunting them”.

Mansour highlighted that despite the attacks and destruction, the flag of Palestine “flies high and proud” in Palestine and across the globe becoming a “symbol raised by all those who believe in freedom and its just rule”.

“It is true that we will not disappear but the lives lost cannot be restored,” he stated.

He said people had to make a decision: stand by the right of a nation to live in freedom and dignity on its ancestral land, standing with peace and recognizing the rights of Palestinians – or they can stand on the sidelines of history.

Mansour said after holding observer status for 50 years, “we wish from all those who invoke the UN Charter to abide by the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination guaranteed by the Charter”.

“A ‘Yes’ vote is a vote for Palestinian existence, it is not against any state…” he added, stating that it would be an investment in peace and empowering the forces of peace.

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