Call for Addressing Sources of Violence against Women

The United Nations’ General Assembly adopted in the session held last night a historic decision to upgrade the representation of Palestine in the United Nations to a center status (observer non-member state), following a vote of 138 members of out of the total assembly membership of 193 states supporting the draft resolution to this effect, against nine states voting against and 41 states abstaining. This victory came on the day which marks the International Day for Solidarity with the Palestinian People which was adopted by the United Nations in 1977 in memory of the day on which the General Assembly had made its famous resolution in 1947 which divided up the land of Palestine into two states.

One might question the relevance of victory at a time when Palestine is still deprived of UN membership, staying on a (a non-member) status. The answer lies perhaps in recalling the state of affair prior to that resolution where Palestine had never been treated as a state in the literature of the United but was an "entity" with an observer status.  The progress made yesterday lies in the recognition of Palestine as a state although it has not yet become a member of the United Nations. Palestine was even completely absent in the United Nations, as there was the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) instead until the General Assembly adopted a resolution in 1988 providing for the use of Palestine instead of PLO without prejudice to the status of the latter at the United Nations.

In his first comment following the voting, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the resolution as "a victory for peace, freedom, and international legitimacy". The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, commented on the decision by saying "Today, Palestine has been placed on the geographical map and among states and peoples."

The UN General Assembly has expressed, in the resolution which was adopted last night, its hope that the Security Council its hope that the Security Council will endorse the request made by the State of Palestine on September 23, 2011 to get full membership in the United Nations. Equally, it confirmed its determination to contribute to the realization of the rights of the Palestinian people and to establish a peaceful settlement that will end the occupation and realize the two-state vision as represented by an independent Palestine State which enjoys sovereignty and democracy and an Israeli state based on pre-1967 borders. The resolution reaffirms the need to resume negotiations and accelerate their pace in order to achieve a peaceful, just, lasting, and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian issue, requesting, at the same time, the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly on the progress made regarding the implementation of this resolution within three months after taking all measures necessary for its implementation

Of all the consequences of this decision, perhaps what worries the Israelis and the Americans most is the possibility of Palestinians joining the International Criminal Court and filing a complaint against what Israel had committed of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Observers also fear the economic sanctions that can be imposed by the United States and Israel on the United Nations following the adoption of that resolution.

On the other hand, hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets in Palestine and Gaza Strip to celebrate this historic decision, which represents a major victory for Palestinian diplomacy and the Palestinian at large. The resolution has also been welcomed by scores of different organizations and organs, with the Arab League being in the lead.

On our part, we in the Geneva Institute for Human Rights, congratulate the Palestinian people for this great victory, which constitutes an important building block for the sought-after settlement of the Palestinian issue.

Geneva Institute
for Human Rights

GIHR is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation based in Geneva.

Email: info@gihr.org

Tel: 0041 22 788 50 15

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1219 Châtelaine 

Geneva - Switzerland

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