Palestinian UN Bid Fails to Gain Support

Friday, 11 Nov 2011 11:43 AM

 

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The Palestinian leadership haven’t excluded forcing their membership application to a vote in the Security Council even after a report today showed their bid cannot succeed because of insufficient support.

An admissions committee for the UN Security Council adopted a report this morning that says the 15-member body cannot make a unanimous recommendation to take the Palestinian bid further.

The Palestinians are still one vote short of the nine needed in the council.

Reaching that number would be enough to win approval were it not for the U.S. veto power.

“Even if we go for a vote and do not have nine,” having eight votes is “nothing to be ashamed of,” said Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour to reporters today in New York. The Palestinian leadership will meet in Ramallah to discuss next steps and is keeping all options “still open,” he said.

As things stand, the Palestinians can count on eight council members -- Russia, China, Gabon, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, Lebanon and India -- to vote yes. Colombia and the five European nations on the council have signaled they will abstain, according to the Palestinians.

Their other option is to upgrade their UN status to “non- member state” from “entity” in the General Assembly, where they enjoy majority backing and the U.S. has no veto.

Portugal's U.N. Ambassador Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral, the current council president, told reporters after a closed meeting Friday that the admissions committee approved the report and sent it to the council which will then decide what actions to take. He gave no timetable.

The Palestinians need a recommendation from the council for U.N. admission. That requires nine "yes" votes — which the Palestinians don't appear to have — and no veto by a permanent member. The U.S. has said it will veto any resolution supporting Palestinian membership if necessary.

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