'UNSC replacements might hurt Palestinian statehood bid'

Supporters of bid Lebanon, Gabon, Brazil, Nigeria to be replaced; new member may abstain, UN analyst says in 'Businessweek' report.

UN Security Council_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
UN Security Council_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Palestinian campaign for statehood at the United Nations might suffer as a result of Security Council replacements set to take place in January, according to a report published in Businessweek on Friday night.

Pakistan, Morocco, Togo and Guatemala were elected on Friday to the 15-nation UN Security Council to replace members Lebanon, Nigeria, Gabon and Brazil for the years 2012 and 2013.
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The race for a fifth council seat, representing Eastern Europe and replacing Bosnia, was adjourned until Monday after neither of the two candidates, Azerbaijan and Slovenia, was able to win a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly after nine votes.
“This election won’t help the Palestinian cause,” Businessweek cited UN analyst at Century Foundation Jeff Laurenti as saying. “Guatemala will be in favor of everything Palestinian until the Americans tell them otherwise. They can be persuaded to abstain.”
Lebanon, Gabon, Brazil and Nigeria had been expected to support the statehood bid. With the replacements to take effect at the start of the new year, the Palestinian Authority would have more success if it pushes for a vote on membership in November when the Security Council is scheduled to meet to discuss the bid, the report suggested.

The United Nations Security Council will discuss its internal committee findings as to whether the Palestinians should be offered UN membership on November 11, although the matter may not come to a vote for a few more weeks.
The committee on the admission of new members to the UN will report back to the Security Council on that date, at which point the Security Council will consider the committee report, but there is “still no clarity” on when a vote would take place, UN sources said.

Jordana Horn contributed to this report.