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Palestine’s UN full membership: What is the membership process?

The Formation of an Independent Palestinian Government and its International Institutional Processes have undergone various transformations; notably, the United Nations General Assembly has approved the formation of the Palestinian de facto government. Yesterday, the United Nations General Assembly voted on a draft resolution for Palestine’s full membership in the United Nations; this resolution was passed with 143 in favor, 9 against, and 25 abstentions. The resolution grants Palestine new “rights and privileges” and calls for a review and favorable consideration by the Security Council regarding Palestine’s full membership in the United Nations. The approval of this resolution signifies the recognition of the Palestinian state; on April 18, the United States, in continuation of its comprehensive support for the occupying regime of the Zionist regime, vetoed this resolution in the Security Council. Since the 1970s, the right to self-determination has been among the principles of human rights and is also used in assessing the legitimacy of governments within countries. The right to self-determination is the general right of all peoples to determine their political future and pursue economic, social, and cultural development freely. Self-determination is a fundamental right without which other rights cannot be fully realized; it is not just a principle but the most essential right in human rights and a prerequisite for the exercise of all individual rights and freedoms. In international law, this right encompasses both individual and collective aspects. Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights refers to the individual aspect, and Articles 1 and 55 of the United Nations Charter also emphasize the collective aspect. Therefore, what distinguishes the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination is their nationhood. On November 29, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly, in Resolution 1967, with 138 in favor and 9 against, recognized Palestine as a de facto state and changed its status from a nonmember observer entity to a nonmember observer state. Meanwhile, Palestinian territories were still under military occupation. Ultimately, on December 18, 2014, the General Assembly, with 180 votes in favor, recognized the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent Palestinian state and urged all countries to continue their assistance for the expeditious realization of the self-determination of these people. In another resolution on December 19 of the same year, the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people over the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, was reaffirmed. The process of Membership Acceptance in the UN The process of membership acceptance in the United Nations occurs with the Security Council’s recommendation to the General Assembly and approval by the General Assembly. To consider the membership of new members, the voting method in the Council is essentially a qualitative majority, which has led the permanent members to possess the veto power effectively. A review of the permanent members’ history in the Council shows that the Soviet Union resorted to veto power 47 times to prevent the membership of 16 countries. Based on this, the United Nations faced a deadlock from 1951 to 1954. The General Assembly raised this issue twice at the International Court of Justice. In the second advisory opinion in March 1950, it was stated that the General Assembly cannot accept a state’s membership unless the Security Council accepts that state’s membership application. Among the most significant benefits of US foreign policy in the current period is the comprehensive support for the occupying regime and disregard for the demands of Palestinians. “The United States continues to support the two-state solution strongly. This vote does not signify opposition to the establishment of the Palestinian state but rather acknowledges that this can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties,” said Robert Wood, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, Following the veto of the resolution for Palestine’s membership. Another interpretation of this stance is that Palestinians, whether for statehood or UN membership, must accept the conditions set by Washington and Tel Aviv. Suppose we accept that the twostate solution was proposed by the United Nations in 1974, and various US administrations have also accepted it at different times. In that case, America’s action in vetoing Palestine’s full membership is nothing but a political move from the position of a significant power aimed at accepting the conditions presented by America in the deal of the century, including: 1. The Zionist regime’s sovereignty over 30% of the western coast, including the Jordan River 2. Disarmament of the Gaza Strip 3. Palestinians compelled to recognize the occupying regime as the Jewish state 4. Zionist settlements were considered part of the occupied regime’s territory 5. Security control over the majority of the western coast and checkpoints by the occupying regime’s forces 6. Palestinians have no right to have an army 7. Abolishment of all Zionist restrictions in the future The process of establishing an independent Palestinian state has undergone various developments; notably, the UN General Assembly has de facto confirmed the formation of the Palestinian government. The Security Council’s priority and the necessity of bypassing its approval process have become formidable barriers to the Palestinian state’s full membership in the United Nations. For years, the Security Council has been considered more of a political entity than a legal one, operating based on the interests of its permanent members. Its internal mechanism, which relies on the qualitative majority, has turned it into a tool among the many tools used by the United States to support the interests of the occupying regime. Yesterday, the United Nations General Assembly approved a draft resolution with the majority of votes from member states of this international body, recommending that the UN Security Council positively reconsider its decision regarding the issue of full Palestinian membership in the United Nations. With a majority vote in support of Palestine’s request for UN membership, this decision symbolizes a symbolic defeat for the United States’ veto in the Security Council. The text of this resolution does not explicitly grant full membership to Palestinians; instead, it simply acknowledges their eligibility for UN membership. This resolution supports Palestine’s request for full membership in the United Nations and recommends that the Security Council positively reconsider its decision on this request, as well as outline measures for implementing additional rights and privileges related to Palestinian participation in UN activities. Abu Ragheb Amani

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.