Selangor Journal
Delegates react to the voting results during the United Nations (UN) General Assembly vote on a draft resolution that would recognise the Palestinians as qualified to become a full UN member, in New York City, the United States, on May 10, 2024. — Picture by REUTERS

Australia says Palestinian UN membership bid builds peace momentum

SYDNEY, May 11 — Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong has said the country’s support for a Palestinian bid to become a full United Nations (UN) member was part of building momentum to secure peace in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

Yesterday, Australia voted with the overwhelming majority of the United Nations General Assembly to back the resolution that would effectively recognise a Palestinian state. It recommended that the Security Council “reconsider the matter favourably.”

The United States (US) had vetoed a recommendation that “the State of Palestine be admitted to membership” in a Security Council vote last month.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong speaks during a joint press conference following an Australia and South Korea Foreign and Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Melbourne, Australia, on May 1, 2024. — Picture by REUTERS

The question of Palestinian membership is one of the few diplomatic issues where close allies Washington and Canberra differ.

“Much of our region and many of our partners also voted yes. We all know one vote on its own won’t end this conflict — it has spanned our entire lifetimes – but we all have to do what we can to build momentum towards peace,” Wong told a press conference in Adelaide.

Yesterday’s General Assembly vote — 143 in favour, nine including the US and Israel against, and 25 abstaining — was a global survey of support for the Palestinian bid. The Palestinians are a non-member observer state.

Their push for full UN membership comes seven months into the war between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas in Gaza and as Israel expands settlements in the occupied West Bank that the UN considers illegal.

“Australia has long been an unwavering supporter of a two-state solution”, said Australia’s ambassador to the UN James Larsen on X (formerly Twitter).

— Reuters

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