News / Middle East

Security Council Reviews Palestinian UN Application

Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour, Sept. 26, 2011
Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour, Sept. 26, 2011
Margaret Besheer

The U.N. Security Council on Monday took up the issue of the Palestinian bid for full U.N. membership. The meeting was mostly procedural and that the council is expected to meet again on the subject later this week.

The 15-member Security Council met behind closed doors for less than one hour.  Afterward, Lebanese Ambassador Nawaf Salam, who holds the rotating presidency this month, spoke to the press.

“I would like to inform you that the Security Council met this afternoon in consultations and decided to convene in a formal meeting Wednesday at 9:30 [in the morning] to consider the application of the state of Palestine for membership, to defer, that is, to the standing committee on admissions," said Salam.

Ambassador Salam explained that there is a standing Security Council committee on new U.N. members, but that the question of referring the matter to it requires a formal meeting.

The committee will then review the application and decide whether the region referred to as Palestine meets the criteria for statehood, including having a defined territory and a recognized government.  Under the U.N. Charter, a new member must also be “peace-loving.”  The committee will report its conclusions to the council, and the council, in a resolution, will decide whether to make a recommendation to the General Assembly.

But for the council to recommend that Palestine be accepted for U.N. membership, nine positive votes and no vetoes from the permanent five members of the council are required.  The United States has said it will use its veto if necessary, arguing that direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians is the only way to lasting Mideast peace and a two-state solution.

Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour told reporters that several Security Council members are under pressure from the United States not to support their application.  But he said he is optimistic that the Palestinians will obtain the necessary votes.

“We trust that we have many friends in the council," said Mansour. "And the relationship between us and our friends is a solid relationship and they admire the cause of Palestine and they are supportive of justice for the Palestinian people.  And we hope that when this exercise is finished and done that the Security Council will stand tall and support the global consensus on the issue of independence of the other state - the state of Palestine - so that the two-state solution can become a reality and Palestine can become a member.”

Mansour added that Palestine has the support of 131 of the 193 member states in the General Assembly, exceeding what is needed for a two-thirds majority for admission as a full U.N. member.

On Friday, the Middle East Quartet issued a statement calling on the Palestinians and Israel to resume talks within a month and laying out a timeline for resolving outstanding issues by the end of next year.

Ambassador Mansour said the Palestinian leadership will meet on Wednesday to discuss the Quartet's statement.  Israel’s foreign minister was quoted in news reports as saying he had reservations about the Quartet announcement, but that a renewal of talks without preconditions is “noteworthy.”

Talks between the two sides broke down last September, after Israel refused to extend a moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank.  The Palestinians have demanded that Israel stop building settlements as a precondition to talks.  

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More