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UN General Assembly Resolutions: Resolution 67/19

(November 29, 2012)

On November 29, 2012, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas raised a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly to change the status of "Palestine" in the international body from permanent observer to non-member observer state. The vote passed with a majority 138 for, 9 against, and 41 abstentions. It amounted to a symbolic victory in the Palestinian quest for statehood. 

The General Assembly,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, and stressing in this regard the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples,

Recalling its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970[1], affirming, inter alia, the duty of every State to promote through joint and separate action realization of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples;

Stressing the importance of maintaining and strengthening international peace founded upon freedom, equality, justice and respect for fundamental human rights;

Recalling its resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947;

Reaffirming the Charter principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force;

Reaffirming relevant Security Council resolutions, including, inter alia, resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 446 (1979), 478 (1980), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and 1850 (2008);

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, with regard to the matter of prisoners;

Reaffirming its resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, and all relevant resolutions, including resolution 66/146 of 19 December 2011, reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine;

Reaffirming its resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988, resolution 66/17 of 30 November 2011, and all relevant resolutions regarding the “Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine”, which, inter alia, stress the need for (a) the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem; (b) the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination and the right to their independent State; (c) a just resolution of the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948; and (d) the complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

Reaffirming also its resolution 66/18 of 30 November 2011 and all relevant resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem, bearing in mind that the annexation of East Jerusalem is not recognized by the international community, and emphasizing the need for a way to be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the capital of two States;

Recalling the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 9 July 2004;

Reaffirming its resolution 58/292 of 6 May 2004, affirming, inter alia, that the status of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, remains one of military occupation, and that in accordance with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination and to sovereignty over their territory;

Recalling its resolutions 3210 (XXIX) of 14 October 1974 and 3237 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, by which, respectively, the Palestine Liberation Organization was invited to participate in the deliberations of the General Assembly as the representative of the Palestinian people and was granted observer status;

Recalling also its resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988, by which it, inter alia, acknowledged the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council on 15 November 1988, and decided that the designation “Palestine” should be used in place of the designation “Palestine Liberation Organization” in the United Nations system, without prejudice to the observer status and functions of the Palestine Liberation Organization within the United Nations system;

Taking into consideration that the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in accordance with a decision by the Palestine National Council, is entrusted with the powers and responsibilities of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine [2];

Recalling its resolution 52/250 of 7 July 1998, by which additional rights and privileges were accorded toPalestine in its capacity as observer;

Recalling the Arab Peace Initiative adopted in March 2002 by the League of Arab States;

Reaffirming its commitment, in accordance with international law, to the two-State solution of an independent, sovereign, democratic, viable and contiguous State of Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace and security on the basis of the pre-1967 borders;

Bearing in mind the mutual recognition of 9 September 1993 between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people;

Affirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders;

Commending the Palestinian National Authority’s 2009 plan for constructing the institutions of an independent Palestinian State within a two-year period, and welcoming the positive assessments in this regard about readiness for Statehood by the World Bank, the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund and as reflected in the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee Chair Conclusions of April 2011 and subsequent Chair Conclusions, which determined that the Palestinian Authority is above the threshold for a functioning State in key sectors studied;

Recognizing that full membership is enjoyed by Palestine in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, and the Group of Asian States and is also a full member as in the League of Arab States, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Group of 77 and China;

Recognizing that, to date, 132 States Members of the United Nations have accorded recognition to the State of Palestine;

Taking note of the 11 November 2011 report of the Security Council Committee on the Admission of New Members;

Stressing the permanent responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine until it is satisfactorily resolved in all its aspects;

Reaffirming the principle of universality of membership of the United Nations;

Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian Territoryoccupied since 1967;

Decides to accord to Palestine Non-member Observer State status in the United Nations, without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the United Nationsas the representative of the Palestinian people, in accordance with the relevant resolutions and practice;

Expresses the hope that the Security Council will consider favorably the application submitted on 23 September 2011 by the State of Palestine for admission to full membership in the United Nations;

Affirms its determination to contribute to the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the attainment of a peaceful settlement in the Middle East that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and fulfills the vision of two States, an independent, sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with Israel, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders;

Expresses the urgent need for the resumption and acceleration of negotiations within the Middle East peace process, based on the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap, for the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides that resolves all outstanding core issues, namely the Palestine refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, borders, security and water;

Urges all States and the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination, independence and freedom;

Requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to implement the present resolution and to report to the Assembly within three months on progress made in this regard.

[1] Declaration of Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations (24 October 1970)

[2] A/43/928 of 9 December 1988

Sources: The United Nations