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UN General Assembly Supports Palestinian Pursuit of Membership Status

In a landmark vote, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution on Friday, granting Palestine an enhanced presence within the international body, thereby strengthening its rights and privileges.

The resolution received overwhelming support from 143 countries, underscoring a strong global endorsement.

Nine countries, led by the United States, opposed the resolution, while twenty-five countries, including Britain, chose to abstain.

US Ambassador Robert Wood clarified that the negative vote from Washington did not signify opposition to Palestinian statehood but rather emphasized the belief that statehood should be achieved through direct negotiations between the concerned parties.

Russia’s Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia criticized the US stance, stating that the resolution aimed to advance Palestinian membership as much as possible without risking another veto from Washington, and emphasized that Palestine deserved full membership status.

Munir Akram, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, condemned Israel for its actions against Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, expressing hope that the international community would respond appropriately.

He stressed that the resolution solely pertained to Palestine and would not affect the status of other states, such as Taiwan, which was a concern for China.

The insults exchanged during the session were described as “the arrogance of the aggressor” by Akram, reflecting the impunity of the occupying force.

The adoption of the resolution elevates the rights of the state of Palestine within the UN, though it does not grant voting rights or the ability to present candidatures to bodies like the Security Council or the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The process for granting Palestinian membership involves a recommendation from the Security Council, alongside a determination by the Assembly that Palestine is qualified for such status, urging the Security Council to consider the matter favorably.

The new status also makes Palestine eligible for election to officer positions within certain General Assembly committees, marking a significant step toward its deeper integration into the UN system.

However, these upgrades in status will not take effect until the commencement of the new Assembly session on September 10th.

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