Nikki Haley: ‘Palestine’ is not a state

The results of the vote on UN General Assembly Resolution A/73/L.5

The results of the vote on UN General Assembly Resolution A/73/L.5

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"The Palestinians are not a United Nations member state or any state at all", said Nikki Haley, reacting to a United Nations decision to give the "State of Palestine" more rights. The partially-recognized state will lead the UN-based coalition of developing nations starting in January 2019.

In her statement Haley noted that the United States had voted against the decision because it considers such a move harmful to achieving peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.

The United States, Israel and Australia voted against the move, which won 146 votes in favor. There were 15 abstentions and 29 countries didn't vote.

"Today´s United Nations mistake undermines the prospects for peace by encouraging the illusion held by some Palestinian leaders that they can advance their goals without direct peace negotiations", said Haley in a statement.

Only UN member-states with full recognition should be entitled to speak and act on behalf of groups of countries, US Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Cohen told the assembly ahead of the vote.

Earlier this week, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his foreign minister, Marise Payne, said in a joint statement that the resolution "seeks to confer an official status on the Palestinian Authority it does not have, and therefore has the potential to undermine efforts to bring parties together to work towards a peaceful settlement".

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The measure does not, however, change the status of the Palestinians, considered a non-member observer state at the United Nations without voting rights at the General Assembly.

The Egyptian-drafted resolution allows them to procedurally operate like a member state when acting on behalf of the G77 and China - making statements, submitting and co-sponsoring proposals and amendments, giving rights of reply and raising points of order.

Calling the resolution "misguided", Cohen warned that the United States will "leave no doubt about where we stand" and will not recognize the Palestinians in their new UN role.

The State of Palestine remains unrecognized by numerous United Nations members and holds non-member observer status at the organization since November 2012.

"Australia's decision to vote no on this resolution reflects our long-standing position that Palestinian attempts to seek recognition as a state in global fora are deeply unhelpful to efforts toward a two-state solution", Australian U.N. Ambassador Gillian Bird told the General Assembly.

"The Palestinians are not a UN Member State or any state at all".

Representatives of Israel and the United States took the floor at the UNGA before the vote and voiced their opposition to the resolution, according to the release.

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