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UN Security Council Members Back 2-State Solution For Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

19.04.2024 02:57

US vetoes Security Council draft resolution demanding Palestine's full membership in United Nations.

UN Security Council members expressed support Thursday for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after a US veto of Palestine's bid for full UN membership.

The 15-member Council gathered in New York to vote on a draft resolution authored by Algeria recommending the admission of the State of Palestine for UN membership. But it was blocked in a vote of 12 in favor to one against with two abstentions, including the UK and Switzerland.

Algeria's envoy to the UN, Amar Bendjama, said his country's efforts will not cease until the State of Palestine becomes a full member of the UN.

"To those who were unable to support the admission of the State of Palestine today, we hope, we really hope, that we'll have to do so next time when the Security Council will reconsider the question of the admission of Palestine again," he stressed.

Chinese Ambassador Fu Cong said the establishment of an independent state is an "inalienable right" that cannot be questioned.

"The admission of Palestine as a full member at the UN would indeed help in negotiations with Israel on a two-state solution," he said, pledging China's support with a view to seeing that day happen.

Voting in favor of Palestine's membership, Slovenia's envoy to the UN, Samuel Zbogar, said a two-state solution where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace is the "only long-term, sustainable option."

Addressing the current situation in Gaza and resuming the political process towards a two-state solution must be the objectives, he said, adding: "We are of the view that the membership of the State of Palestine in the UN could significantly support this process, which should address all outstanding issues, support the state of Palestine and guarantee security for Israel."

'State of Palestine is inevitable'

Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour expressed appreciation to the countries that supported Palestine's request for UN membership and to those who voted in favor of the draft resolution.

"The fact that this resolution did not pass will not break our will, and it will not defeat our determination. We will not stop in our effort," Mansour said.

"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," he added.

Switzerland's envoy to the UN, Pascale Baeriswyl, said they abstained on the draft resolution without opposing it because Switzerland believes it is "not appropriate" for the membership for the particular situation, given the ongoing conflict.

"We think it would be preferable to determine Palestinians' membership at the UN at a future stage, once there has been peace," she said, adding Switzerland's "strong position" on a two-state solution has not changed.

UK envoy to the UN Barbara Woodward said they abstained on the resolution because the focus must be kept on the situation in the Gaza Strip.

"The UK reiterates its commitment to making progress towards a two-state solution in which a safe and secure Israel lives alongside a sovereign, viable Palestinian state," Woodward added.

US veto 'hopeless attempt to stop inevitable course of history'

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said 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," Nebenzia said.

US Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Robert 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 acknowledgment that it will only come from direct negotiations between the parties," he said.

Wood 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 4 of the UN Charter.

"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 organization, is currently exerting power and influence in Gaza – an integral part of the State envisioned in this resolution," he said, adding it is for these reasons that the US voted "no."

Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan thanked the US for "standing up for truth and morality in the face of hypocrisy and politics."

Palestine was accepted as an observer state of the UN General Assembly in 2012, allowing its envoy to participate in debates and UN organizations but without a vote.

States are admitted to membership in the UN by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council, according to the UN Charter.

A council resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the permanent members -- US, Britain, France, Russia or China -- to pass.

Palestine's application for full UN membership comes amid a deadly Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas, which has killed nearly 34,000 Palestinians. -

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