UN Security Council refers Palestinian application for full UN membership to committee

Apr 8, 2024

The United Nations Security Council President, Malta’s Ambassador Vanessa Frazier, on Monday referred Palestine’s application to become a full member of the U.N. to the Committee on the Admission of New Members.

Palestine currently has an observer status at the world body.

The 15-member Council’s President for April proposed that the committee meet on Monday afternoon to consider the application, adding that deliberation has to take place this month.

The Palestinian leadership last week formally asked for renewed consideration by the Security Council of its 2011 application to become a full member of the world body.

“We sincerely hope after 12 years since we change our status to an observer state, that the Security Council will elevate itself to implementing the global consensus on the two state solution by admitting the state of Palestine for full membership,” Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters after the meeting.

Ambassador Mansour has repeatedly said in recent months that given Israel’s military aggression in the Gaza Strip, UN membership is a priority for the Palestinians.

In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, he had asked that that application to be reconsidered. Another supporting letter was sent to the Council president by 140 countries, including Pakistan, that have recognized Palestine and support its bid for full membership.

The committee of the 15 members first assesses an application to see if it satisfies requirements for U.N. membership.

The application can then either be shelved or put forward for a formal vote in the Security Council. Approval requires at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the five permanent members –U.S., Russia, China, France or Britain.

“The committee has to deliberate within the month of April,” Ambassador Frazier told reporters ahead of the meeting. The Security Council earlier on Monday met behind closed doors to discuss the letter from the observer state requesting renewed consideration of their application.

The UNSC was already expected to hold its quarterly meeting on April 18, which will be a ministerial level meeting. The Palestinians have targeted this date as one in which they hope the Council will put their application forward for a vote.