Palestinians fail in bid to join U.N. agency

Palestinians were well short of the two-third approval needed for membership.

By
September 15, 2019 07:49
1 minute read.
Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour at the United Nations in New York, U.S.,

Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour at the United Nations in New York, U.S., October 16, 2018. (photo credit: SHANNON STAPLETON/ REUTERS)

Palestinian efforts to join as many UN organizations and protocols as possible hit a roadblock on Saturday when it failed to gain full admission to the Bern-headquartered Universal Postal Union (UPU).

Membership in the UPU – which coordinates postal policies among nations – is automatic to all UN members, but a non-member state requires the support of two-thirds of the countries to join.

The Palestinians applied in a blitz last November, when it signed forms to join 10 international protocols and conventions as a way to gain legitimacy and place diplomatic pressure on Israel. The Palestinian request to join the UPU was sent to all member states in April, and they were given four months to respond – with those not responding counted as abstentions.

On Saturday, the Foreign Ministry obtained the results, showing that the Palestinians were well short of the two-third approval needed for membership. Fifty-six countries supported the bid, 7 states objected, 23 abstained, and another 106 did not respond, and were therefore counted as abstentions.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz welcomed the rejection of the application, saying that the true purpose in Palestinian efforts to join various international organizations is to “circumvent the need to resume negotiations with Israel, and to use membership in these organizations to divert the agenda in these professional organizations to attack Israel.” Israel, he said, would not sit back and allow it to happen, and the ministry waged a campaign to prevent the Palestinian membership into the organization.

Over the years, the Palestinians gained membership into dozens of international organizations, treaties and protocols in an effort to gain unilateral statehood recognition around the world.


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