All news
Updated at: 

US blocks Security Council resolution granting full UN membership to Palestine

A total of 12 countries, including Russia and China, voted in favor of the document

UNITED NATIONS, APRIL 19. /TASS/. The United States exercised its veto right to block a UN Security Council resolution granting full UN membership to Palestine, a TASS correspondent reported.

A total of 12 countries, including Russia and China, voted in favor of the document, while two countries — Switzerland and the United Kingdom — abstained. The United States was the only country that voted against the proposed resolution.

On April 4, Malta, which holds the UN Security Council presidency this month, granted Palestine’s request to resume its UN membership process. The Palestinian diplomatic mission attached to its request letters of support from the group of Arab Nations at the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Non-Aligned Movement. Another annex to the document contains the list of 140 countries that have already recognized Palestine as a sovereign country.

Palestine requested joining the United Nations as a full-fledged member back in 2011, but later decided to remain in its current status of permanent observer. According to Mansour, the goal was to persuade swaying nations that Palestine is worthy of becoming a full-fledged member of the global organization. Countries with permanent observer status are allowed to attend the majority of UN events and have access to practically all documents, but have no right to vote. The only other country with the permanent observer status at this point is the Holy See (Vatican).

The UN membership is granted by the General Assembly, following the recommendation of the UN Security Council. The membership bid is to be approved by nine out of the Security Council’s 15 members, provided that none of the permanent members (United Kingdom, China, Russia, the United States and France) exercise their veto right. After that, the matter goes to the UN General Assembly, where it needs to win the support from at least two thirds of members to be approved.