UN Security Council fails to reach 'consensus' on Palestinian membership

Palestinians have lobbied for years to gain full membership, which would amount to recognition of Palestinian statehood


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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Fri 12 Apr 2024, 8:27 AM

Last updated: Fri 12 Apr 2024, 9:32 AM

UN Security Council members failed to reach a consensus on Thursday on a bid by Palestinians for full UN membership. The effort is now likely headed for a more formal council vote.

The Palestinians have had observer status at the world body since 2012. They have lobbied for years to gain full membership, which would amount to recognition of Palestinian statehood.

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Any request to become a UN member state must first pass through the Security Council -- where Israel's ally the United States wields a veto -- and then be endorsed by the General Assembly.

In light of Israel's offensive in Gaza, Palestinians revived a 2011 UN membership application last week, prompting the Security Council to launch a formal review process. This included an ad hoc committee that was composed of the council's member states.

Maltese Ambassador Vanessa Frazier, who holds the council's rotating presidency for April, said that "there was no consensus" during a closed-door meeting.

However, two-thirds of the members were in favour of full membership, she said, without specifying which countries.

The ad hoc committee can only move forward by consensus. Loosely speaking, when everyone is in agreement, any Security Council member may now put forth a resolution for vote on the matter.

According to diplomatic sources, a vote could be held on April 18, brought forth by Algeria which represents Arab nations on the Council.

Observers predict a veto from the United States even if the matter were to receive the necessary nine of 15 votes.

"All we ask for is to take our rightful place among the community of nations," Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour told reporters earlier this week.


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