Canada abstains in UN Palestine membership status vote, affirms two-state solution
Canada abstains in UN Palestine membership status vote, affirms two-state solution

The Canadian government remains consistent in trying to appease both sides of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The United General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution to upgrade Palestine’s rights, granting them status as an Observer State without offering full membership. 

“By adopting this resolution, the General Assembly will upgrade the rights of The State of Palestine within the world body, but not the right to vote or put forward its candidature to such organs as the Security Council or the Economic and Social Council,” said the United Nations in a press release.

The modifications will not take effect until the General Assembly convenes its new session on Sep. 10.

Once the changes take effect, Palestine will gain seven rights.

Palestine will be able to be seated among Member States, make statements on behalf of a group, submit proposals and amendments, and introduce them. It will also be able to co-sponsor proposals and amendments. 

Palestine will be able to propose items to be included in the provisional agenda. Members of the delegation of Palestine will be able to be elected as officers in the Main Committees of the General Assembly. Lastly, Palestine will gain full and effective participation in UN and international conferences and meetings convened under the General Assembly or other UN branches.

The vote resulted in 143 countries voting in favour, nine against, and 25 countries abstaining.

The matter will proceed to the 15-member UN Security Council, where the United States of America is expected to veto it, having voted against the initial resolution. If rejected by the Security Council, Palestinians will still earn a seat in the UN as of Sept. 2024 but will not be granted a vote.

Canada was one of the countries that abstained from the vote.

“Canada’s position on questions relating to Israel and Palestine remains, and has always been, guided by our historic and unwavering commitment to a two-state solution,” said Global Affairs Canada in a release.

Canada admitted that Hamas brutally murdered over 1,200 people in its Oct. 7 attack.

However, Canada stated that three principles have always guided its approach.

The country believes that “Israel has the right to exist, and to defend itself, in accordance with international law.” That “the Palestinian people must be able to realize their right to self-determination.” And that “the protection of civilians is paramount and a strict requirement under international humanitarian law.”

Global Affairs Canada said that the United Nations recommendation to reconsider full membership for Palestine has resulted in the prospects of peace being bleaker than ever.

“Canada has decided to abstain on the General Assembly resolution in response to efforts to prevent the realization of a two-state solution,” said Global Affairs Canada.

“We must redouble our efforts to fully realize the vision first articulated by the General Assembly in 1947. We owe it to the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, who deserve a brighter future and a sustainable peace,” concluded Global Affairs Canada. 

Israel’s Ambassador Gilad Erdan criticized the UN for its decision, arguing that the organization was originally established to prevent the rise of powers like the Nazis, whose goal was to annihilate the Jewish people.

“Today, you are doing the opposite… welcoming a terror state into its ranks,” said Erdan. 

“You have opened up the United Nations to modern-day Naziism. It makes me sick,” he added.

Concluding his remarks, Erdan displayed a mini portable electric document shredder and proceeded to shred the cover of the UN Charter.

Draft resolutions only reflect the official stance of the General Assembly after they are officially adopted.

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