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For the first time, Palestine votes in UN

February 10, 2014 at 1:45 pm

As a newly recognised non-member state, Palestine has cast a vote in the UN General Assembly for the first time since it was included in the international body last November. Palestine’s UN envoy Riyad Mansour voted in the assembly’s election of Koffi Kumelio Afande as a judge for the International Tribunal.

The vote was received with a warm round of applause from most of the envoys of the UN member states. Mansour called it a “symbolic step towards full membership in the world body.”

According to UN rules, this recognition allows Palestine to take part in all UN agencies and international bodies, such as the ICC. It can also vote on most of UN resolutions.

But it cannot apply for an elevation of its current non-member state status at the UN. This requires a consensus of the UN Security Council members.

Knowing that US would veto its efforts, Palestine dropped an application last year to become a full member state. Instead it pursued becoming a non-member state, as that needed only the agreement of two thirds of the UN General Assembly.