Palestine bids to change status at UN - P.M. News

Palestine bids to change status at UN


(AFP) – Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Saturday he will make a bid on September 27 to obtain non-member status at the United Nations.

“We will go to the UN General Assembly for consultations with our friends on the draft resolution calling for the upgrade of Palestine (to non-member status)” in the United Nations, Abbas said in a televised address.

“We are going to the UN to say that we are a state which applies the fourth Geneva convention (on the protection of civilians in time of war). There are 133 countries that recognise us as a state with east Jerusalem as its capital and where we have embassies hoisting the Palestinian flag.”

Palestinians now have observer status at the UN.

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said last month that Abbas would make the upgrade request on September 27 during the UN General Assembly.

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Palestinians are assured that the resolution will pass with a large majority. Such a resolution needs the support of more than half of the 194 UN member states.

“Owing to the automatic majority (at the General Assembly) we will not be able to prevent this decision,” Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Israeli public radio.

“Our policy leans towards Western democratic countries. If we succeed in forming a bloc of 50 to 60 nations opposed (to the Palestinian initiative), the decision will be taken but will be void of all political significance,” he said.

In September 2011, Abbas made a high-profile effort to obtain full-member status at the UN, but the request was never put to a vote in the Security Council, where the United States had pledged to veto it.

Several weeks ago, a senior official from the Palestine Liberation Organisation said Washington was pressuring the Palestinian leadership to delay its upgrade plans until after the US presidential election in November.