May 10, 2024 | Flash Brief

UN General Assembly Facilitates Palestinian End Run around Security Council

May 10, 2024 | Flash Brief

UN General Assembly Facilitates Palestinian End Run around Security Council

Latest Developments

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted on May 10 to provide “additional rights and privileges of participation of the State of Palestine.” The United Arab Emirates-sponsored resolution, which passed with 143 in favor, nine against, and 25 abstentions, also expressed the body’s opinion that the “State of Palestine” meets the UN parameters for membership.

U.S. Alternate Representative to the UN Robert Wood stated that “unilateral measures at the UN and on the ground will not advance” a two-state solution. Wood also noted that Palestinian “statehood will come only from a process that involves direct negotiations between the parties.”

Expert Analysis

“Today’s General Assembly resolution providing numerous statehood-level rights to the Palestinian Authority violates the UN Charter’s procedural and substantive requirements for bestowing UN membership and the rights that go with it. Membership and its accompanying rights can only be bestowed with the Security Council’s approval. The PA also clearly does not meet the Charter’s substantive requirements that the newly recognized state be peace-loving and able to carry out its Charter obligations. The UN is once again discrediting itself by prioritizing Israel-bashing over complying with its own legally binding Charter.” Orde Kittrie, FDD Senior Fellow

“The General Assembly sent a clear message to Washington: It’s time to defund the UN’s regular budget. Our money is used and abused, and it’s clear the system is rigged in favor of U.S. adversaries, terrorist groups, and their sponsors.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“A name and a placard at the UN don’t change the fact that the Palestinian Authority is far from being a state. The UN is again setting a double standard for Israel and putting its thumb on the scale against the Jewish state.” — David May, FDD Research Manager and Senior Research Analyst

UNGA Resolution Provides Palestinians Rights and Privileges

Additional rights and privileges afforded to the “State of Palestine” include: submitting and co-sponsoring proposals and amendments; raising procedural motions; proposing items to be included on the agendas of UNGA sessions; allowing members of the Palestinian delegation to stand for election as UNGA plenary and main committee officers; and full participation in UN conferences and meetings convened under UN auspices. The resolution specified that it was not granting the Palestinians a UNGA vote or the ability to put forward its candidature to UN organs.

The resolution granted these additional rights “on an exceptional basis and without setting a precedent.” This sets a unique standard for the Palestinians and possibly seeks to head off attempts by other peoples to acquire the rights of statehood at the UN without support from the Security Council.

UN Membership Open to ‘Peace-Loving States’

The UN Charter provides that the admission of any state to membership in the UN can only be “effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.” The Security Council has made no such recommendation. On April 18, the United States vetoed a UNSC resolution to grant the Palestinians full-member status.

The Charter also specifies that membership in the United Nations is open only to “peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.” Calling into question the “State of Palestine’s” peace-loving nature are its payments to terrorists and their families incentivizing the murder of Israelis, also known as “pay for slay.” Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces have also carried out several attacks on Israelis.

In addition, the PA’s lack of control over Gaza, from which it was violently ejected by Hamas in 2007, makes it unable to carry out the UN Charter obligations of a member state. Hamas, the perpetrators of the October 7 massacre, controls roughly 40 percent of the Palestinians under the PA’s claimed jurisdiction.

Palestinian Statehood Bid Risks Triggering U.S. Defunding of UN,” FDD Flash Brief

U.S. Vetoes Palestinian Statehood Bid at UN,” FDD Flash Brief

Australia Shows That Hamas’ Terrorism Pays,” by David May

U.S. and Arab Partners Plan for Palestinian Statehood,” FDD Flash Brief

Issues:

International Organizations Israel Israel at War Palestinian Politics