World

Palestine wins UN General Assembly vote

PTI United Nations | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on November 30, 2012

Palestine overwhelmingly won a historical UN General Assembly vote which will upgrade its status to non-member observer state at the world body, despite intense opposition from the US and Israel.

India was among the 138 nations in the 193-member body that voted in favour, while nine countries opposed the resolution that sought upgrading the status of Palestinian Authority from ‘entity’ to ‘non-member observer state.

Forty one countries abstained from the voting which took place yesterday.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said “an important vote” has taken place in the General Assembly.

“Today’s vote underscores the urgency of a resumption of meaningful negotiations. We must give new impetus to our collective efforts to ensure that an independent, sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine lives side by side with a secure State of Israel,” Ban said in his remarks after the votes were cast.

The symbolic vote signified the huge international backing for Palestine and came as a stinging defeat for Israel and the US.

The vote could enable Palestine to access bodies like the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which prosecutes people for genocide, war crimes and major human rights violations. Some nations like the UK have said Palestine could use access to the ICC to complain about Israel.

In his address to the General Assembly before the vote, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the vote will “issue a birth certificate of the reality of the state of Palestine”.

“Today’s vote underscores the urgency of a resumption of meaningful negotiations. We must give new impetus to our collective efforts to ensure that an independent, sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine lives side by side with a secure State of Israel,” Ban said in his remarks after the votes were cast.

The US termed the resolution as “unfortunate and counterproductive” and said lasting peace between Israel and Palestine can only be achieved through direct negotiations and not by pressing a “green voting button here in this hall.”

“Today’s unfortunate and counterproductive resolution places further obstacles in the path to peace. That is why the United States voted against it,” US Permanent Representative to the UN Susan Rice in explanation of the vote.

She said the only way to establish a Palestinian state and resolve all permanent-status issues is through crucial, “if painful”, work of direct negotiations between the parties.

“Passing any resolution (does not) create a state where none indeed exists or change the reality on the ground. The vote should not be misconstrued by any as constituting legibility for UN membership. It does not. This resolution does not establish that Palestine is a state,” she added.

Rice said the resolution will not do anything to change the lives of the Palestinian people.

“The United States calls upon both the parties to resume direct talks without preconditions on all the issues that divide them,” Rice said.

“Long after the votes have been cast, long after the speeches have been forgotten, it is the Palestinians and the Israelis who must still talk to each other — and listen to each other — and find a way to live side by side in the land they share,” she said.

The symbolic vote signified the huge international backing for Palestine and came as a stinging defeat for Israel and the US.

Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ron Prosor said Israel would not compromise on its security and the Palestinians must recognise the “Jewish State and they must be prepared to end the conflict with Israel once and for all’’.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on November 30, 2012
null
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor