Security Council to discuss Palestinian request for full UN membership

Palestinians' 2011 bid for full UN membership failed, resulting in observer state status; renewing their efforts, they now seek Security Council approval but face likely US veto if they secure the required majority
The UN Security Council will discuss on Monday the Palestinian request for full UN membership. The session will begin at 10 am New York time (5 pm Israel time) with a closed consultation, followed by a public discussion.
This meeting comes in response to the Palestinians' appeal to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, coordinated with Malta, the current president of the Security Council, which consists of five permanent and ten rotating members.
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דיון במועצת הביטחון של האו"ם
דיון במועצת הביטחון של האו"ם
UN Security Council
(Photo: Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP)
Since 2011, the Palestinian Authority has been recognized as a "non-member observer state" at the UN, following the failure of its original application for full membership. To advance to a vote on membership at the UN General Assembly, the Palestinians will need the support of nine out of the 15 member states of the Security Council - without a veto from any of the five permanent members: the U.S., UK, France, China and Russia.
Under UN procedures, before a vote in the Security Council, a special committee must be appointed to formulate recommendations. Only if this committee positively recommends the inclusion will the Council vote on the recommendation.
Even if a vote occurs in the Security Council, it's uncertain that the Palestinians will manage to secure the majority of nine countries needed. Six countries are likely to support the Palestinian membership request - China, Russia, Algeria, Guyana, Mozambique and Sierra Leone, with two more - Slovenia and Malta - leaning toward support.
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לינדה תומאס-גרינפילד
לינדה תומאס-גרינפילד
US Ambassador to UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield
Should the petition garner the required majority, the U.S. would be cornered into deciding whether to use its veto right. Given traditional U.S. policy, it's plausible that if the Palestinians manage to embarrass Washington and force a vote, the Americans would likely exercise their veto.
If the request is approved by the Security Council, a vote will take place in the General Assembly. The Palestinians will need the support of two-thirds of the member states, whose representatives are present at the assembly. Approval of the request in the assembly immediately grants the applicant nation full UN membership status.
In 2011, the Palestinians submitted a request for full UN membership, but the initiative failed due to divisions within the special committee of the Security Council, which could not agree on recommending the Palestinians' inclusion. The failure of the membership bid led to the adoption of UN General Assembly Resolution 67/19, granting Palestine the status of a "non-member observer state" at the UN.
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