News / Middle East

Support Mounting for Upgraded UN Status for Palestinians

Palestinians hold placards of President Mahmoud Abbas during a rally in support of his efforts to secure a diplomatic upgrade at the United Nations, Ramallah, West Bank, November 25, 2012.
Palestinians hold placards of President Mahmoud Abbas during a rally in support of his efforts to secure a diplomatic upgrade at the United Nations, Ramallah, West Bank, November 25, 2012.
Margaret Besheer
The U.N. General Assembly will decide Thursday whether to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority at the world body from an entity to a non-member state.  The Palestinians chose this day for the vote because it is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

About 60 countries are co-sponsoring the resolution that will be introduced Thursday afternoon. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will address the General Assembly just ahead of the vote.

The Palestinians are expected to obtain the required simple majority of the U.N.’s 193 member states who are present and voting.  But they will not have the support of some key countries, including the United States and some Europeans. 

The United States firmly opposes the move, saying the only road to statehood for the Palestinians is through direct negotiations with Israel. 

U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Special Envoy for Middle East Peace David Hale met Wednesday with President Abbas in New York to repeat Washington’s concerns and urged him to reconsider.

“The deputy secretary also reiterated that no one should be under any illusion that this resolution is going to produce the results that the Palestinians claim to seek, namely to have their own state living in peace next to Israel," she said. 

Israel also opposes the initiative in the General Assembly, which will open doors for the Palestinians, including membership in U.N. organizations and the possibility of joining the International Criminal Court. 

If the Palestinians are allowed to join the court, they could ask the prosecutor to investigate Israel’s actions in their territories.  

Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour said this week that they are unlikely to apply to join the court anytime soon.
 
“I don’t believe that we are going to be rushing the second day to join everything related to the United Nations, including to the ICC. But yet at the same time, it is not fair for us to tie our own hands of all the possibilities that could be available to us," he said.

The ambassador dismissed critics who warn the Palestinian move is a unilateral one that will hurt the peace process. He said that if the day after the resolution is adopted Israel wants to negotiate in good faith with the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinians would respond "in a positive way."

You May Like

Yemen Brings US, Iran Closer to Naval Face-off

US sending two more ships to waters off coast of Yemen to take part in 'maritime security operations' More

Minorities Become Majority Across US

From 2000 to 2013, minorities became the majority in 78 counties in the United States. Here's where those demographic shifts are happening More

Japan's Maglev Train Breaks Own Speed Record

Seven-car 'magnetic levitation' train traveled at more than 600 kilometers per hour during test run Tuesday More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: HOCK from: Canada
November 28, 2012 9:17 PM
It is sad to see the US, Canada and another nations actively campaign to keep Palestine out of the UN - even a lowly Non-Member status.

Hamas and the current Israeli government have shown that they have one thing in common. They both want a one-state solution. The PA in seeking UN non-member status is taking the first step towards a two-state solution outlined in the Oslo Accord. Why not support them and the peace process.

by: Al from: Canada
November 28, 2012 9:14 PM
Why does Israel fear the Palestinians join the UN and the International Criminal Court unless they have something to hide??

Crimes against humanity maybe?? The Israeli politicians are afraid they will have to face prosecution.

by: Guillermo Saavedra
November 28, 2012 8:27 PM
Thanks VOA for permission to comment. All the other sites on this subject haven't had viable posts allowed, perhaps because the publishers are aware of the great many millions who endorse the right of Palestinians, like Israel, to have a sovereign homeland, free from annexation by Israeli 'Settlers', who are nothing more than annexationists and colonist in the West Bank. Thanks again!

by: charlie from: california
November 28, 2012 8:21 PM
The US talks about the "peace talks" as if the world were stupid. 20 years of talks have only been used to subsidize colonizing the territories with half a million Jews who are Israeli citizens. These colonies connected by Jewish only roads, their monopalization of the resources of the occupied territory. It's called creating Greater Israel behind phony talks. We aren't that stupid.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs