News / Middle East

Palestinian UN Bid Goes to Committee

People attend a public screening of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' speech to the U.N. in Ramallah , Sept. 23, 2011.
People attend a public screening of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' speech to the U.N. in Ramallah , Sept. 23, 2011.
Margaret Besheer

The United Nations Security Council took its first official step Wednesday toward considering the Palestinian application for full U.N. membership, passing it to a special committee that will review it and make recommendations.

The standing committee on new members is tasked with deciding whether the territory known as Palestine meets the criteria for statehood, including possession of a defined territory and a recognized government. Under the U.N. Charter, a new member must also be “peace-loving.”

The committee will take up its work at the ambassador level on Friday morning and report its conclusions to the Security Council. The council will then decide whether to make a recommendation to the General Assembly via resolution.

A decision is not likely for weeks, but analysts say the bid is bound to fail because the United States has threatened to use Washington's veto power on the Security Council to block it.

After Wednesday's action, the Palestinian envoy, Riyad Mansour, told reporters the process is moving forward.

"We hope the Security Council [will] shoulder its responsibility and approve our application and send a recommendation to the General Assembly for the admission of Palestine to the United Nations," he said.

Last week, on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly, the Middle East Quartet - made up of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - issued a call for the Palestinians and Israel to return to direct negotiations. Those talks broke down last September after Israel allowed a moratorium on settlement construction to expire.

On Tuesday, Israel announced that it would build 1,100 new homes for Israelis on annexed land in East Jerusalem that Palestinians want as part of a future state. Mansour called the action a clear answer from the Israeli government about negotiations.

"They gave 1,100 answers of saying 'no' to the effort of the international community of opening doors for negotiations," he said. "I think this speaks clearly that Israel is not interested in negotiating with us, in spite of the fact that they say they like to do so."

Mansour said Israel's construction plans violate tenets of prior negotiations and international law. "Those who are interested in peace and negotiation would abide by their obligation under the Road Map which calls for freeze of settlements," he said. "They would abide by international law which says that settlements are illegal."

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor said there are no short-cuts to a Palestinian state.

"I would like to emphasize that a Palestinian state - a real Palestinian state, a viable Palestinian state - will not be achieved in imposing things from the outside, but only in direct negotiations," he said, pointing to successful peace agreements between Israel with Egypt and Jordan.

“We can do it ourselves [and] we can do it by talking to each other," he said. "We know the problems; we know how tough this is. There are no shortcuts. There are no instant solutions here."

Both ambassadors said their governments would consider and respond to the Quartet stance, which calls both sides back to talks within one month and lays out a timeline for resolving outstanding issues by the end of next year.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid