Palestine’s full UN membership request never got through

The Palestinians presented a request for UN membership in 2011, yet the application never came before the UN Security Council (UNSC) for a vote.

By Sohaila Barghash

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said that his country will be launching a bid to gain full membership in the UN.

After the request was first presented in 2011, Palestine’s status changed from a non-member observer entity to a non-member observer state, which basically allows the country to be a signatory to treaties for which the UN secretary-general is the depositary.

According to the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, this has led the country to join more than 50 international organisations and agreements.

However, the US vows to veto Palestine’s membership plans. A move which critics say, does not support American claims for desiring a two-state solution.

“We know that we are going to face a US veto but that won’t prevent us from presenting our application,” Al-Maliki told journalists.

The Palestinian Authority’s membership bid went through in 2017, marking another victory for Palestinians’ aims to gain international representation regardless of the strong Israeli and US opposition.

There are however several PA achievements that allow for Palestinian international representation, even if not sufficient.

For instance, on Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas assumed chair for the so-called Group of 77, which is the biggest UN bloc of developing countries.

In his speech,Abbas claimed Israel was hindering development in the Middle East as he also emphasized his commitment to a two-state solution.

He added, “Israel’s continued colonisation and occupation of the state of Palestine undermines our development and capacity for cooperation, coordination and obstructs the cohesive future development of all peoples of the region.”

With the US backing them, Israel has continued to ignore the consequences of its occupation of Palestinian Territories, which led to further opposition as it put Israel in a state of Human Rights violation.

Mahmoud Abbas elaborated on the importance of Jerusalem to both states, saying that a “peaceful solution that brings an end to the occupation and the realisation of the independence of the state of Palestine with occupied East Jerusalem as its capital, living side-by-side in peace and security with the state of Israel.”

Jerusalem has been critical for both sides, yet it was agreed internationally that the status of the city would be decided in negotiations, until Israel claimed the city as its undivided capital, followed by US President Donald Trump’s decision to move the American embassy to the holy city.

The decision which brought international outrage and cut ties between Palestine and US administrations.

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