US Vetoes Palestine’s Bid for Recognition at the UN During Security Council Vote

The United States used its veto on the UN Security Council to block a resolution that would have moved Palestinians one step closer to obtaining full membership in the United Nations, the Associated Press reported.

The UN Security Council last Thursday voted on recommending that the 193-member General Assembly approve making Palestine a full member of the United Nations. Twelve Security Council member countries, including France, South Korea, and Japan, voted in favor of the resolution. Switzerland and the UK abstained while the United States used its veto to block the resolution.

Currently, 140 UN member countries recognize Palestine, so the General Assembly vote would have likely succeeded.

In blocking the resolution, US Deputy Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood explained that the veto did not mean that the US opposed statehood for Palestinians. Instead, the veto was an “acknowledgment that it will only come from direct negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinians.

State Department deputy press secretary Vedant Patel told reporters that the US has been consistently clear that the UN resolution was “premature” and, despite its “best intentions” would not achieve a separate state for the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian delegation to the UN renewed its bid to revive its application for full membership earlier this month. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas first applied in 2011, however, the application stalled after it failed to receive the required nine votes from the Security Council.

The following year, the General Assembly voted to make the Palestinian Authority a non-member observer state.

After last Thursday’s vote, Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour said the Palestinian Authority remained determined to win full membership to the body, explaining that a separate Palestinian state was “inevitable.”

Ambassador Wood explained that there remained “unresolved questions” on whether the Palestinians met the criteria of a nation-state. He insisted that the US remained committed to achieving a so-called two-state solution which he said was the only way to achieve security for both Israel and the Palestinian people.