Palestine’s United Nations bid

Fatima Ayub explains the factors that will decide how European countries vote tomorrow, when Palestine’s request to become a United Nations non-member observer state is officially voted upon:

As much as possible, the European Union tries to project a common position at the U.N., but often fails when it comes to resolutions involving Israel and Palestine (the vote on the Goldstone Report resolution in 2010 was a notable moment). Though the 2011 statehood bid was never put to a vote at the Security Council, European members were expected to vote against it there. But in the subsequent vote where the PA sought and received membership to UNESCO in October 2011, the European vote was significantly split. Eleven countries (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovenia and Spain) voted yes, another eleven abstained (Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom) and five voted no (Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden).

This year’s resolution, despite being something of an anticlimax, has prompted much handwringing and mixed messaging from European governments. Denmark, France, Spain Norway and Switzerland (the latter two are not EU member states) have declared their support. It’s reasonable to expect that the states who supported the UNESCO bid will also vote yes, with the exception of Belgium who have declared they will abstain. And the Netherlands can be expected to move from the ‘no’ to the ‘yes’ category after a change of government earlier this year. The United Kingdom and Germany were wavering, declaring they would support the resolution with given public assurances that the PA would seek unconditional negotiations with Israel and forego applications to the International Criminal Court. At the time of this writing, the Palestinians have not agreed to condition their bid, which would curtail the meaningful gains of the upgrade, so Germany and the U.K. are at best likely to abstain.

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One thought on “Palestine’s United Nations bid

  1. Pingback: EU Again Split on Palestine | Stephen Spillane's Blog

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