Dr. Saeb Erekat, head of the Palestinian Negotiations Team and member of Fateh’s Central Committee, stated that Security Council (SC) members will be giving their opinions on the Palestinian demand for full UN membership, on or around November 11 of this year.
Erekat told the French Press that the committee in charge of studying the application has submitted its legal and procedural report to the Security Council. The Council will now be asked to provide a subsequent report denoting the stances of member countries regarding the UN membership, and whether the application has met all of the requirements.
“When the stances of the countries are clear, when each state makes a decision on our application, we will be asking for a Security Council vote,’ Erekat said. “Under the principles of the International Court in Lahai in 1948, once the UN Secretary-General accepts the file and transfers it to the Security Council, the country that files the application has already fulfilled all the international procedures set by the Court.’
By November 11th, and after the SC has considered the Palestinian bid, UN council members will be calling for a final meeting to determine their final response. The meeting could end up with a mixed vote, amidst the divided opinions of Security Council members.
The U.S. is heading the campaign to topple it, and has stated unequivocally that they will wield its veto power against it. They are supported by Colombia, Germany and Portugal (all temporary members of the SC). Russia and China (permanent members of the SC), along with the seven remaining temporary members, support the Palestinian bid. The two remaining full time SC members, France and the United Kingdom, are expected to abstain from the vote.
The Ma’an News Agency quoted a senior diplomat at the Security Council, stating that November 11th could be the end of the consideration process, adding that a vote will be conducted should the Palestinians insist on a vote.
Security Council officials are trying to determine technical details of the application, and whether the future Palestinian state “will be seeking peace,’ and will be “Willing to fulfill its obligations under the United Nations charter.’
The set date in itself is considered a delay in the discussion of and voting on the issue; Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas submitted the application on September 23. But this delay is said to give the Palestinians and Israel the chance to resume their deadlocked peace talks.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization (P.L.O) only holds an observer status at the United Nations; this status means that Palestine is not a voting member. In order to be voted in as a full member, the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) and the P.L.O –both of whom are leading the bid for statehood- need a recommendation from the Security Council before the 193 member General Assembly vote on the bid.
Should the Palestinian bid be turned down, especially since Washington said it will veto it, the Palestinian leadership will be asking the General Assembly to upgrade the Palestinian status from “observer” to a “nonvoting member”. This application does not require the endorsement of the Security Council.
Middle-East mediators are trying to ensure the resumption of peace talks before the vote. They intend to hold separate meetings on October 25 with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Jerusalem.
Efforts to resume the peace talks collapsed a year ago after Israel resumed its illegal settlement construction in the occupied territories, including in illegally annexed East Jerusalem, and they continued their invasions and violations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.