Legal and Political Aspects of Palestinian Bid for Statehood in the UN


The speakers discussed the political and legal perspectives of the UN bid. Mr. Abu-Gharbia illustrated the strategies of  the Palestinian Authority  in its attempt to establish a sovereign state. These strategies include: patterns of resistance, enactment of appealing to an international framework, going to the UN and other international organizations, re-evaluating  our relations with Arab countries and stimulating it based on new foundations. He also stressed on the option of going to the UN which was a direct result of the failure of the negotiations with Israel. In addition to the Quartet’s failure in pressuring Israel to recognize a Palestinian state. Mr. Gharbia emphasized the importance of the time of the UN bid, in which deciding to go during September came as a result of the Obama speech concerning his desire to establish a Palestinian state.

Moreover, Mr. Gharbia indicated that heading to the UN was in order to empower the Palestinian position in its negotiations with Israel. He also stated that going to the Security Council, not to the General Assembly, was an outcome of our aspiration to gain full membership at the UN and not a non-membership position. However this bid is in need of gaining 9 out of 15 votes of the security council members, and it is critical that the permanent members of the Council do not veto this resolution. He also talked about the US threat in using its veto thus preventing the pass of this resolution. And if the application is refused, then we can head to the General Assembly so as to gain a  non-member state. 

Dr. Al- Amori discussed the legal outcomes of the UN bid by remarking that going to the UN can be perceived as an effective weapon if used properly, because it is important to reopen the Palestinian case, especially ever since Israel has succeeded in keeping the Palestinian case outside of the international community agenda. He also discussed the substantive and procedural requirements needed in order to gain membership in United Nations. He indicated that the Palestinian problem lies in the procedural requirements which require the approval of the Security Council and this brings us back to square the five permanent members. Whereas the substantive requirement can be overcome. Moreover Dr. Al-Amori stated that if the  Security Council vetoes the Palestinian membership this will lead to the consideration and study  of other options, such as the possibility of resorting to the “Uniting for Peace” resolution. Another option is obtaining a non-member observer state from the General Assembly, which is in a sense an implicit recognition of a Palestinian state. Then we can gain membership in international organizations with the prerequisites that members should be states, and thus we expand the possibility of prosecuting Israel. He also referred to the expected caveats if the position of a nonmember state is obtained, and these caveats might question and threaten the legal status of the PLO. According to international law, the PLO is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, which has the legal right to demand for the right of self-determination. He also stressed the imperative need for being legally precise while considering the alternative option.

Thursday, October 6, 2011 - 12