Screenshot of UN Web T V showing Palestine's Permanent Observer to the UN, Mr Riyad Mansour, addressing the Security Council on 18 April 2024 after the US vetoed Palestine's request for full UN membership. - Photo: 2024

US Bashed for Vetoing the State of Palestine’s UN Full Membership

By J Nastranis

NEW YORK | 20 April 2024 (IDN) — As the United States vetoed the Palestine State’s bid for full United Nations membership, the office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the US veto was “blatant aggression … which pushes the region ever further to the edge of the abyss”. In a statement, the presidency called the US veto “unfair, unethical and unjustified”.

The Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine to the UN, Mr Riyad Mansour, said: “The fact that this resolution did not pass will not break our will, and it will not defeat our determination.” He added: “We will not stop in our effort. The State of Palestine is inevitable. It is real.”

The proposal for full membership was submitted by Algeria, it received 12 votes in favour, with the United States casting a negative vote and Switzerland and the United Kingdom abstaining. A Council resolution requires at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes from its five permanent members—China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States—to pass. The Algerian draft failed, owing to a negative vote cast by a permanent member.

Introducing the draft resolution, the Permanent Representative of Algeria to the UN, Mr Amar Bendjama said that he is doing so on behalf of his Government, the Arab Group, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement, and countless peace-loving countries, urging Council members to vote for the text and the sake of Palestinians. “It is the least we could do to honour the debts we owe to its people,” he said.

Palestine fulfils membership criteria as defined in the UN Charter. “It is time for Palestine to take its rightful place among the community of nations,” he declared, adding: “Peace will come from Palestine’s inclusion, not from its exclusion.” Failing to do so is a denial of the Council’s responsibilities, an unforgivable mistake, and a license to continue injustice and impunity.

Mr Mansour said his people’s right to self-determination has never once been subject to bargaining or negotiation. It is a natural, historic and legal right “to live in our homeland, Palestine, as an independent State that is free and that is sovereign,” he said.

“We came to the Security Council today (18 April) as an important historic moment, regionally and internationally, so that we could salvage what can be saved. We place you before a historic responsibility to establish the foundations of a just and comprehensive peace in our region.”

Council members were given the opportunity “to revive the hope that has been lost among our people” and to translate their commitment towards a two-State solution into firm action “that cannot be manoeuvred or retracted”, and the majority of Council members “have risen to the level of this historic moment, and they have stood on the side of justice and freedom and hope, in line with the ethical and humanitarian and legal principles that must govern our world and in line with simple logic.”

Mr  Mansour expressed appreciation to the countries who supported Palestine’s request for UN membership and to those who voted in favour of the draft resolution. “The fact that this resolution did not pass will not break our will, and it will not defeat our determination,” he said. “We will not stop in our effort. The State of Palestine is inevitable. It is real. Perhaps they see it as far away, but we see it as near, and we are the faithful.”

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said this marked the fifth time the United States has vetoed a Council resolution since the start of the current hostilities in Gaza. The US “once again demonstrated what they really think of the Palestinians”, he said. “For Washington, they do not deserve to have their own State. They are only a barrier on the path towards realising the interests of Israel.”

He said at present, an absolute majority of the global community supports Palestine’s application to become a full member of the UN. “Today’s use of the veto by the US delegation is a hopeless attempt to stop the inevitable course of history. The results of the vote, where Washington was practically in complete isolation, speak for themselves,” he said.

Chinese Ambassador Fu Cong

Chinese Ambassador Fu Cong said the decades-long dream of the Palestinian people has been quashed at a time when the admission of Palestine as a full member of the UN is more urgent than ever before. Over the past 13 years, the situation in Palestine has changed, namely settlement expansion, so questioning Palestine’s ability to govern is not acceptable, he said.

The establishment of an independent State is an inalienable right that cannot be questioned, he continued. The admission of Palestine as a full member at the UN would indeed help in negotiations with Israel on a two-State solution. The wheels of history are rolling forward, and Palestine and Israel will one day live in peace, side by side, Mr Fu said, pledging China’s support with a view to seeing that day happen.

US Deputy Permanent Representative Robert Wood

US Deputy Permanent Representative Robert Wood said Council members have a special responsibility to ensure that their actions further the cause of international peace and security and are consistent with the requirements of the UN Charter.

He said the report of the Committee on the Admission of New Members reflected that there was not unanimity among members as to whether the applicant met the criteria for membership, in line with Article IV of the UN Charter. For example, there are unresolved questions as to whether the applicant meets the criteria to be considered a State, he said.

“We have long called on the Palestinian Authority to undertake necessary reforms to help establish the attributes of readiness for statehood and note that Hamas, a terrorist organisation, is currently exerting power and influence in Gaza—an integral part of the State envisioned in this resolution,” he said. It is for these reasons, that the US voted “no”, he explained.

Mr Wood said the US continues to strongly support a two-State solution. “This vote does not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood, but instead is an acknowledgement that it will only come from direct negotiations between the parties,” he said.

Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan said the Palestine Authority is a terror-supporting entity, “paying terrorists to slaughter us”, and Palestinians do not even recognise Israel as a Jewish State. He said Hamas was not mentioned here today because the Palestinian representative here does not represent at least half the Palestinian population.

“Regardless of the Palestinians’ failure to meet the necessary criteria for UN membership, most of you sadly decided to reward Palestinian terror with a Palestinian State,” he said. “It’s very sad because your vote will only embolden Palestinian rejectionism even more and make peace almost impossible.” [IDN-InDepthNews]

Photo: Screenshot of UN Web T V showing Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the UN, Mr Riyad Mansour, addressing the Security Council on 18 April 2024 after the US vetoed Palestine’s request for full UN membership.

IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top