Fri 17-May-2024

UNSC postpones vote on Palestinian UN membership

Thursday 18-April-2024


The UN Security Council (UNSC) held an open session on Thursday evening, during which it discussed the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian issue.

The UNSC was scheduled to vote in today’s session on a Palestinian request for full UN membership. However, the vote was postponed to Friday for further deliberations.

Council member Algeria, which put forward the draft resolution, had requested a vote for Thursday afternoon to coincide with a Security Council meeting on the Middle East.

The Palestinians are currently a non-member observer state, a de facto recognition of statehood that was granted by the 193-member UN General Assembly in 2011. But an application to become a full UN member needs to be approved by the Security Council and then at least two-thirds of the General Assembly.

A council resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the U.S., Britain, France, Russia or China to pass. Diplomats say the measure could have the support of up to 13 council members, which would force the US to use its veto.

If the application passes at the UNSC, it will then move to the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the main policy-making organ of the UN, where it needs a two-thirds majority to be approved.

A country cannot join the UN as a member state unless both the Security Council and General Assembly approve.

The Palestinian application, however, will likely face a much easier ride at the UNGA than the UNSC because more than two-thirds of the General Assembly already recognize Palestine as a state. And unlike the UNSC, no nation has a veto to overrule a UNGA majority.

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