UN to vote on Thursday on raising Palestinian status
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The Palestinians said the UN General Assembly will vote on Thursday afternoon on a resolution raising their status at the United Nations from an observer to a non-member observer state, a move they believe is an important step towards a two-state solution with Israel.
Unlike the Security Council, there are no vetoes in the General Assembly and the resolution is virtually certain of approval. The world body is dominated by countries sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and the resolution only requires a majority vote for approval. To date, 132 countries - over two-thirds of the UN member states - have recognised the state of Palestine.
A spokesman for the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations said on Monday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will address the 193-member world body before the resolution is put to a vote. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak the press about the matter.
The Palestinians are seeking to enhance their status because their application in September 2011 to become a full UN member state has been blocked. To become a member state, an applicant must be approved by the UN Security Council and the United States has made clear it would veto the bid until there is a final settlement with Israel.