UN approves resolution enabling Palestinians to chair group


"Multilateral diplomacy took over with broad support from members for a resolution allowing the elected presidency of the G77 and China to carry out its duties effectively", Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Riyad Mansour told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He said that 16 resolutions on the Palestinian issue would be voted on after the main committees in the UN General Assembly end their work.

"Today's United Nations mistake undermines the prospects for peace by encouraging the illusion held by some Palestinian leaders that they can advance their goals without direct peace negotiations".

Some 146 countries on Tuesday voted in favour of Palestine to head the Group of 77.

"Australia's decision to vote no on this resolution reflects our long-standing position that Palestinian attempts to seek recognition as a state in worldwide fora are deeply unhelpful to efforts toward a two-state solution", Australian U.N. Ambassador Gillian Bird told the General Assembly. "In fact, today's vote does nothing to help the Palestinian people", said Haley.

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The minister highlighted that Palestine, as next President of G-77 plus China, considers that the global consensus to give its confidence ansd vote to raise its status in the United Nations is a challenge that will become opportunities for the benefit of the bloc and the world.

While Palestine has been a full-fledged member of the G77 since 1976, it only enjoys the status of "non-member observer state" at the UN. Three countries - Israel, the United States and Australia - voted against and 15 countries abstained.

Taking note of the Group of 77's decision to elect the State of Palestine as its chair for 2019, the Assembly chose to adopt several modalities for the State of Palestine's participation in the Assembly's sessions, work and the global conferences convened under its auspices or other organs of the United Nations.

"We strongly oppose the Palestinians' election as chair of the G77 as well as this so-called enabling resolution", he said. Israel captured those territories in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally.

The General Assembly resolution not only ratified the ministerial decision but also provided Palestine with additional rights and privileges, including the right to make statements on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, including among representatives of major groups; the right to submit proposals and amendments and introduce them on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and the right to co-sponsor proposals and amendments. However, as a non-member state, the Palestinians can not speak in meetings until after member states, diplomats said.