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Palestine to apply for full UN membership in January 2019

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki has declared that Palestine would initiate an application to gain full state membership at the United Nations in January 2019. To secure full state membership, the Palestinians would require the support from at least nine out of the UNSC's 15 member states.

Dec 27, 2018 15:12 IST
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Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki declared on December 26, 2018 that Palestine would initiate an application to gain full state membership at the United Nations in January 2019.

The application to upgrade Palestine's status from an observer state to a full-member state will be filed to the UN Security Council (UNSC) during the state Foreign Minister’s visit to New York next month. The decision has been taken upon Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' instructions.

To secure full state membership, the Palestinians would require the support from at least nine out of the UNSC's 15 member states.

Besides this, the Palestinian Minister said that he would demand the UNSC implementation of Resolution 2334 and ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an official inquiry into Israeli settlement construction.

According to UNSC Resolution 2334, the UN Secretary General should present the Security Council with a progress report every three months on Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestine has been recognised by the UN as a non-member observer state since 2012.

  Palestine to apply for full UN membership in January 2019

Background

The Palestine Liberation Organisation was granted observer status as a "non-member entity" in November 1974.

Acknowledging the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council in November 1988, the United Nations General Assembly decided that, effective as of December 1988, the designation "Palestine" should be used in place of the designation "Palestine Liberation Organization" in the United Nations System.

In September 2011, Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas submitted the application for UN membership for the State of Palestine to the then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. However, the application was not voted on by the UN Security Council.

In October 2011, the General Assembly of UNESCO voted to admit Palestine as a member, becoming the first UN agency to admit Palestine as a full member.

The UN General Assembly recognised the state of Palestine as a "non-member state" in November 2012, when it passed a resolution by a vote of 138 to 9, with 41 abstentions.

About United Nations

The United Nations is an intergovernmental organisation that was established as the successor of the largely ineffective League of Nations on October 24, 1945.

The organisation is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organisation in the world. It is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states.

Its main task is to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonising the actions of nations.

Other objectives of the organisation include protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding the international law.

  Palestine to apply for full UN membership in January 2019

Member States of UN

During its founding, the UN had 51 member states and now it has 193 sovereign states as its members.

In principle, only sovereign states can become UN members and currently all UN members are sovereign states.

However, in addition to the member states, the UN also has two non-member permanent observer states: the Holy See and the State of Palestine.

The observer states are allowed to participate and speak in the UN General Assembly meetings but they cannot vote.

Observers are generally intergovernmental organizations and international organisations and entities whose statehood or sovereignty is not precisely defined.

How does a state become a full member of the UN?

The membership in the United Nations is open to all peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgement of the organisation, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.

The admission of any state to membership in the United Nations is effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.

A recommendation for admission from the Security Council requires affirmative votes from at least nine of the council's fifteen members, with none of the five permanent members using their veto power.

The Security Council's recommendation must then be approved in the General Assembly by a two-thirds majority vote.

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