UNGA to vote on recognising Palestine as full UN member

The United Nations General Assembly [UNGA] could vote on Friday on a draft resolution that would recognise Palestine as qualified to become a full UN member and recommend that the UN Security Council “reconsider the matter favourably.”

It would effectively act as a global survey of how much support the Palestinians have for their bid, which was vetoed in the UN Security Council last month by the United States.

An application to become a full UN member needs to be approved by the 15-member Security Council and then the General Assembly.

Diplomats say the 193-member General Assembly is likely to back the Palestinian bid.

But changes could still be made to the draft after some diplomats raised concerns with the current text, seen by the Reuters news agency, that also grants additional rights and privileges — short of full membership — to the Palestinians.

Some diplomats say this could set a precedent for other situations, citing Kosovo and Taiwan as examples.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan on Monday denounced the current draft General Assembly resolution, saying it would give the Palestinians the de facto status and rights of a state and goes against the founding UN Charter.

“If it is approved, I expect the United States to completely stop funding the UN and its institutions, in accordance with American law,” said Erdan, adding that adoption by the General Assembly would not change anything on the ground.

De facto recognition

“It remains the US view that the path toward statehood for the Palestinian people is through direct negotiations,” said Nate Evans, spokesperson for the US mission to the UN.

“We are aware of the resolution and reiterate our concerns with any effort to extend certain benefits to entities when there are unresolved questions as to whether the Palestinians currently meet the criteria under the Charter,” he said.

The Palestinians are currently a non-member observer state, a de facto recognition of statehood that was granted by the UN General Assembly in 2012.

Palestine’s push for full UN membership comes seven months into Israel’s carnage in besieged Gaza, and as Israel is expanding Zionist settlements in the occupied West Bank, which is considered illegal by the UN and the international community.

The United Nations has long endorsed a vision of two states living side by side within secure and recognised borders.