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Explainer: Could Palestinians become full members of the United Nations?

Explainer: Could Palestinians become full members of the United Nations?

The Palestinians are not an observer state at the United Nations.

United Nations:

The Palestinian Authority formally asked on Tuesday that the United Nations Security Council reconsider its 2011 bid to become a full member of the world body.

Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour told Reuters on Monday the aim was for the council to make a decision on the Middle East at a ministerial meeting on April 18, but a vote had not yet been scheduled.

Find details about UN membership here:

What is the current status of the Palestinians at the United Nations?

The Palestinians are not a United Nations observer state and have the same status as the Holy See.

The 193-nation UN General Assembly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine in November 2012, upgrading its observer status at the world body from “entity” to “non-member state”. There were 138 yes votes, nine no votes and 41 abstentions.

How does the United Nations accept new member states?

Countries seeking to join the United Nations typically submit an application to the U.N. secretary general, who forwards it to the 15-member Security Council for review and voting.

Mansour sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday asking the Security Council to reconsider a Palestinian application for full membership made in 2011. Guterres sent the letter to the Security Council, said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

A 15-member council committee first reviews an application to determine whether it meets the requirements for UN membership. The request can then either be deferred or submitted for a formal vote in the Security Council. Approval requires at least nine yes votes and no veto from the US, Russia, China, France or Britain.

If the Council approves the application for membership, it will be forwarded to the General Assembly for approval. An application for membership requires a two-thirds majority to be accepted by the assembly. A country can only join the United Nations if both the Security Council and the General Assembly agree.

What happened to the Palestinian proposal in 2011?

A UN Security Council committee examined the Palestinian application for several weeks to determine whether it met the requirements for UN membership. However, the committee failed to reach a unanimous position and the Security Council never formally voted on a resolution on Palestinian membership.

Diplomats said the Palestinians lacked the at least nine votes needed to pass a resolution. Even if they had won enough support, the United States said it would veto the move.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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