Palestine has legal right to become state member of UN: Riyad Mansour
According to Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, granting Palestine full state membership status would be a “realistic” move that might assist maintain the two-state solution and revitalise the peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
Mansour started talks with the UN Security Council members this year in an effort to push for a resolution to upgrade Palestine from its current status as an observer state to that of a full member.
Mansour, who holds the official title of Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, stated during an exclusive interview with Arab News at the UN headquarters in New York that the foundation of his initiative is Palestine’s “natural and legal right to become a full member in (the) UN system.”
In light of Israeli efforts to unilaterally destroy the possibility of a fair resolution that could result in an independent Palestinian state by “creating not only a one-state reality (but) an apartheid reality,” he said, the drive for statehood is all the more pressing.
Mansour claimed he already had enough votes from Security Council members, including those from Ireland, Albania, and Norway, to get the council to recommend that Palestine be admitted as a full member state to the General Assembly.
According to Article 4 of the UN Charter, the General Assembly decides whether a country should be admitted based on the Security Council’s recommendation, according to Paulina Kubiak Greer, the head of the General Assembly’s press office. In order for the General Assembly to decide on membership, the Security Council must provide a recommendation.
The present US administration’s pursuit of “realistic measures” to bring about a two-state solution would be consistent with granting Palestine full state membership status, but Mansour claimed Washington “is not thrilled about the concept.”
“I reminded Linda (Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN), in more than one meeting, that if you don’t like our plan, put your alternative on the table — a workable suggestion to safeguard and protect the two-state solution. However, if you tell me you don’t like my concept without suggesting another course of action, that is unacceptable.”