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Palestine joins two UN agencies and chemical weapons treaty

May 24, 2018 at 11:32 am

United Nations (UN) Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov on 17 February 2015 [A Paranoid Optimist/Flickr]

The State of Palestine has joined two United Nations agencies and the global convention to halt the spread of chemical weapons, a UN envoy said yesterday, reported AFP.

Nickolay Mladenov, the UN coordinator for the Middle East, told the Security Council that the Palestinians had joined the Geneva-based UN trade organisation UNCTAD, Vienna-based industrial development agency UNIDO and the chemical weapons convention.

“On May 15, Palestine acceded to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the Convention on the Prohibition, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons,” Mladenov said.

As noted by AFP, “the United States withdrew some funding for UNESCO when the Palestinians joined the cultural and education agency in 2011 and last year pulled out of the agency altogether.”

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“The [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] OPCW, UNCTAD and UNIDO rely on voluntary contributions from UN member-states to fund its activities as well as its regular budget,” reported AFP.

AFP added that the OPCW had previously announced that the state of Palestine would become the 193rd state to join the chemical weapons convention.

“Only four countries – Israel, Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan – have yet to ratify the chemical weapons convention,” AFP added, “which aims to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction.”

Palestine has the status of a non-member observer state at the United Nations and is thus able to seek membership of agencies and become a party to treaties.