May 29, 2024

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Palestinian UN Membership Bid Stalls as Security Council Deadlocks

The United Nations Security Council encountered a deadlock on Thursday regarding the Palestinian quest for full UN membership, indicating that the unlikely endeavour will likely proceed to a more structured council vote. Despite the Palestinians’ longstanding efforts to achieve full membership and thereby secure recognition of Palestinian statehood, consensus remained elusive among council members. Following Israel’s offensive in Gaza, Palestinians rekindled a 2011 UN membership application last week, prompting the Security Council to initiate a formal review process.

This process involved an ad hoc committee consisting of council member states, which, during its closed-door session, failed to reach unanimity, according to Maltese Ambassador Vanessa Frazier, who currently presides over the council’s rotating presidency for April. While Frazier noted that two-thirds of the members expressed support for full membership, the committee’s inability to achieve consensus means any Security Council member can now introduce a resolution for a vote on the matter.

Diplomatic sources suggest that a vote could occur on April 18, with Algeria, representing Arab nations on the Council, likely to propose it. However, even if the proposal garners the required nine out of 15 votes, observers anticipate a veto from the United States. The U.S. position maintains that the United Nations is not the appropriate venue for determining Palestinian statehood, emphasising that such status should result from an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

In response to the impasse, Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour reiterated the Palestinian aspiration to assume their rightful place among the community of nations. The recent escalation in the Gaza conflict, triggered by Hamas’s attack against Israel on October 7, has intensified the urgency of the Palestinian bid. The ensuing Israeli offensive has resulted in significant casualties in Gaza, further underscoring the complexities and tensions surrounding the Palestinian quest for recognition on the global stage.