UN panel draft: No consensus on Palestinian UN bid

"C'tee was unable to make unanimous recommendation to the Security Council;" report indicates Abbas's move is set to fail.

November 8, 2011 20:33
2 minute read.
PA President Abbas gives letter to Ban Ki-moon

PA President Abbas gives letter to Ban Ki-moon 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Thayer)

A draft report by a key UN Security Council committee, obtained by Reuters on Tuesday, declared that members could not reach consensus on whether Palestine should be accepted as a UN member state.

“The committee was unable to make a unanimous recommendation to the Security Council,” said the draft report of the council’s committee on admitting new member states.

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For the last two months, Israel has cautiously predicted that the Palestinian bid for unilateral statehood at the United Nations would fail.

The Prime Minister’s Office did not respond to the report.

But an Israeli official said he hoped it would be a “wakeup” call for the Palestinians, which would cause them to re-think their diplomatic strategy and return to the negotiating table.

“The Palestinians thought they would have clear sailing,” said the official. But instead, it appears that they lack the support they thought they had, the official added.

To date, the Palestinians have preferred to engage in unilateral moves toward statehood, rather than talks with Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full UN membership for the state of Palestine on September 23.

Such a bid needs the support of nine out of 15 nations that belong to the UN Security Council. A Security Council sub-committee is expected to report on the matter Friday.

But a draft was circulated to all Security Council members on Tuesday.

The four-page draft appears to confirm that the Palestinian move to join the world body as a full member is set to fail due to the council’s unresolvable deadlock.

UN diplomats say the Palestinians have so far secured only eight backers.

The draft report details how the council is divided into three groups – those planning to support the Palestinian bid, those opposing it and those planning to abstain from any vote on it. It does not identify the countries.

Western envoys have said that the Palestinian initiative was doomed from the outset because the US has promised to use its veto to block the membership bid if the Palestinians were able to secure the necessary nine votes. But Palestinians had hoped to score a moral victory and force Washington to cast its veto.

Diplomats say it is not clear if the Palestinians will now call for a vote in the council, given that Washington will likely not need to use its veto to block it.

The draft may be revised before it is formally presented to the Security Council on Friday, diplomats said on condition of anonymity.

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