Palestine's bid for UN membership thwarted
- Khadija Patel
- 11 Nov 2011 (South Africa)
A leaked draft report from the United Nations Security Council membership committee suggests the Palestinian bid for statehood will fail. By KHADIJA PATEL.
A draft report by a key UN Security Council committee has revealed that members have not been able to reach consensus on whether the Palestinians' UN statehood bid should be accepted. "The committee was unable to make a unanimous recommendation to the Security Council," said the draft report of the council's committee on admitting new member states. It was circulated to all 15 Security Council members on Tuesday.
In response, Palestinian foreign minister Riad Malki blamed the US for pressuring council members "to dissuade them from voting for the Palestinian quest”. The Palestinians appear to have resigned themselves to defeat. "We expected to get nine votes in the Security Council, but it's clear now, with the US counter-effort and huge intervention, that we are not going to have these nine votes," Malki said.
The Palestinians can still call for a vote in the Security Council, but they are unlikely to do so given that Washington will not even need to use its veto to block it. Instead, Palestinian officials say they will seek an upgraded observer status that would give them access to key international organisations, among them the International Criminal Court.
The draft report does not reveal the number or names of countries that would support, abstain or oppose Palestinian membership in the Security Council, but on Wednesday UK foreign secretary William Hague told the House of Commons that Britain would abstain when the Security Council votes on the Palestinian bid. Hague said the decision had been made after consultations with fellow Security Council member France and other European countries. DM
- Palestinians braced for fresh setback in UN statehood bid in The Guardian;
- UN Security Council panel fails to reach consensus on Palestinian bid, says draft report in Haaretz;
- Thwarted at the U.N., Is Palestinian Leader Abbas Headed Off Into the Sunset? asks Time.
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