Palestine relaunches the procedure to join the UN

(United Nations) The Palestinians officially relaunched the procedure on Tuesday to become a full member state of the UN, a process with an uncertain outcome which they nevertheless consider essential in the face of the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

In a letter seen by AFP addressed to the UN Secretary General and sent to the Security Council, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour announces, “at the request of the Palestinian leaders”, to relaunch this request dating from 2011 and calls on the Council to examine it “in April 2024”.

The diplomat continues to repeat that faced with the large-scale Israeli offensive in Gaza, in retaliation for the unprecedented Hamas attack of October 7, one of the priorities of the Palestinians, observers at the UN since 2012, is to become a true member state of the United Nations.

“It was the international community that decided to create two states in Palestine in 1947. It is the duty of the international community, alongside the Palestinian people, to complete this process by admitting Palestine as a member state,” declared it in February.

“We are mobilizing as many countries as possible to support us in this effort, and we hope that the Security Council will act in April,” he insisted in March, referring to the date of April 18 for which a meeting of the Council is scheduled. ministerial level on the situation in Gaza.

“The letter has been received […] and we will hold bilateral consultations to decide the way forward,” indicated the presidency of the Security Council, held by Malta in April.

The Palestinians received “support” from representatives on Tuesday, notably from Arab countries and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

“We would like to bring to your attention that, to date, 140 member states recognize the State of Palestine,” they insist in a letter seen by AFP, considering the 2011 request as still pending.

American veto?

In September 2011, the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas launched the procedure requesting “the accession of the State of Palestine to the UN”, which never came to fruition. The Palestinians finally obtained observer status in November 2012.

Recently, several European capitals, Madrid, London and Paris, have raised the possibility of studying recognition of Palestine.

In February, French President Emmanuel Macron even considered that such recognition was no longer a “taboo”.

A draft resolution from France to the Security Council on Gaza, at the very beginning of discussions, also mentions the “intention to welcome the State of Palestine as a full member of the UN”.

The admission of a State to the UN is done by decision of the General Assembly, by a two-thirds majority, but only after a positive recommendation to this effect from the Security Council.

Observers doubt that the request will reach the Assembly, highlighting the risk of a veto by the United States in the Security Council.

“It seems difficult to me that the United States would swallow this proposal,” commented Richard Gowan, analyst at the International Crisis Group, recalling that it took months for the United States to agree not to block a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Israel’s refusal

“From Washington’s perspective, putting the issue of Palestinian statehood on the agenda probably makes it more difficult to convince the Israelis of a ceasefire,” he said.

The Israeli government has clearly rejected the two-state solution, and the Israeli parliament voted overwhelmingly in February against any “unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.”

In 1947, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution dividing Palestine, then under British mandate, into two independent states, one Arab, the other Jewish, and an international zone around Jerusalem.

But only the creation of Israel was then proclaimed, on May 14, 1948, provoking a war between the new state and several Arab countries.

Palestinians ‘know this is the time to push this issue’ [d’adhésion à l’ONU]which risks fading if there is a ceasefire and UN members focus on other things,” noted Richard Gowan.

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