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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Photo: AFP
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Photo: AFP
 
 

PA circulates status upgrade draft at UN

Palestinian Authority prepares to submit status upgrade bid to UN General Assembly; final decision to be made after Arab League summit next week

Yitzhak Benhorin
Published: 11.09.12, 07:37 / Israel News

WASHINGTON – The Palestinian Authority's mission to the United Nations began circulating Ramallah's draft proposal for a status upgrade Thursday, ahead of the bid's submission to a UN General Assembly vote.

 

The draft, detailing the PA's request to have its status upgraded from "observer" to "non-member state," was sent to the UN General Assembly's 193 members, as soon as the results of the US presidential election became clear.

 

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is pushing the bid despite Washington's objections. He agreed in the past to defer it until the US elections were over.

 

Nevertheless, at this point the bid has not been filed with the UN Secretariat – which would be the one to introduce it to the General Assembly's schedule for a vote.

 


אבו מאזן נואם בכינוס העצרת הכללית בספטמבר. להצעה מובטח רוב (צילום: AP)

Abbas at the UNGA in September (Photo: AP)

 

Palestinian Observer to the UN Riyad Mansour said that the PA has yet to decide on the final date for the proposal.

 

Ramallah is reportedly mulling November 15 or November 29 as its goal dates for the vote; but according to Mansour, the PA is only "floating the idea" among UN members for now, to see their reaction to the proposal. 

 

The PA will make the final decision on the bid after the Arab League summit set for next Wednesday.

 

The PA's previous attempt to see its UN status upgraded to that of a full-fledged member of the international body was made in September 2011 – and failed.

 

While such a bid is likely to prove successful in the General Assembly, a membership bid must also be approved by the UN Security Council with a minimal majority of nine out of the 15 members.

 

The United States, which has veto power in the UNSC, said it would veto such a bid if it was brought to a vote.

 

The current Palestinian move is a symbolic one and since no country has veto power over General Assembly decisions, the PA is hoping to circumvent the US' objection to the move.

 

Still, the PA is risking financial sanctions from both Israel and the US if it forges ahead with the current bid.

 

Washington said that pursuing the bid so close to the Israeli elections, as well as the blatant attempt to create facts on the ground on issues that should resolved via negotiations, could potentially derail the already troubled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

 

 

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