UN Security Council Refers Palestinian Full UN Membership Application to Committee

The United Nations Security Council has recently made the decision to refer the Palestinian application to become a full member of the United Nations to a committee. This decision comes after a long-awaited process that has been fraught with diplomatic tensions and international scrutiny. The move by the Security Council underscores the complexities and sensitivities surrounding the issue of Palestinian statehood, as well as the challenges in finding a resolution that can satisfy all parties involved.


The quest for Palestinian statehood has been a centerpiece of international diplomacy for decades. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) first sought recognition as a member state of the United Nations in 1988, when the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat declared the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Since then, the Palestinian leadership has been actively seeking full membership in the UN as a means of achieving international recognition and legitimacy for their statehood aspirations.

Initially, the application for full UN membership was submitted to the Security Council by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2011. However, the United States, a permanent member of the Security Council, vetoed the application, effectively blocking it from being approved. The U.S. argued that the matter of Palestinian statehood should be resolved through direct negotiations with Israel, rather than through unilateral actions at the United Nations.

Recent Developments

In a recent session, the Security Council opted to refer the Palestinian application to the Committee on the Admission of New Members. This decision marks a significant step in the consideration of the Palestinian bid for full UN membership, as it signals that the Security Council is willing to engage in a more in-depth review of the application. The Committee on the Admission of New Members comprises all 15 members of the Security Council and provides a platform for further deliberations and assessments of the application.

The decision to refer the Palestinian application to the committee reflects the Security Council’s recognition of the need for a more thorough evaluation of the complexities and implications of Palestinian statehood. It also indicates a willingness to engage in a more nuanced and comprehensive assessment of the situation, taking into account the interests and concerns of all relevant parties.

Reactions and Implications

The Security Council's decision to refer the Palestinian application to the committee has elicited a range of reactions from various stakeholders. The Palestinian leadership has welcomed the move as a positive development that reflects a growing international acknowledgment of the legitimacy of their statehood aspirations. Palestinian officials have expressed hope that the committee process will provide an opportunity for a more thorough examination of their application and pave the way for eventual full UN membership.

On the other hand, Israel has expressed reservations about the Security Council's decision, reiterating its stance that Palestinian statehood should be the outcome of direct negotiations between the parties involved. Israeli officials have raised concerns about the potential implications of the committee’s review process, emphasizing the need for a resolution that ensures peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians.

The United States, as a key player in the Security Council, has maintained its position that the issue of Palestinian statehood should be addressed through bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The decision to refer the Palestinian application to the committee has prompted the U.S. to reaffirm its commitment to facilitating direct talks and finding a mutually acceptable resolution to the conflict.

Ramifications and Challenges

The referral of the Palestinian application to the Committee on the Admission of New Members brings to light the complex and enduring challenges associated with the quest for Palestinian statehood. The issue of Palestinian membership in the United Nations is intrinsically linked to the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has persisted for decades and has defied easy resolution.

The Security Council’s decision underscores the deep-seated divisions and diverging perspectives on the matter, both within the Council itself and among the broader international community. Finding a consensus on the Palestinian bid for full UN membership poses significant diplomatic and political challenges, as it involves navigating intricate geopolitical dynamics and entrenched positions held by various actors involved in the peace process.

The committee process presents an opportunity for a more detailed examination of the legal, political, and security considerations surrounding the Palestinian application. It also offers a forum for constructive dialogue and engagement among Security Council members, as well as an avenue for taking into account the views and concerns of regional and international stakeholders.

Path Forward

As the Committee on the Admission of New Members undertakes the assessment of the Palestinian application, it will need to consider a range of factors that encompass legal, political, and practical dimensions. The committee's deliberations will likely address issues such as the status of Jerusalem, the boundaries of a future Palestinian state, the security arrangements, and the overall trajectory of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The committee’s review process will also provide an opportunity for the consideration of the broader implications of Palestinian statehood on regional stability and international peace and security. This includes addressing potential ramifications for neighboring countries and assessing the potential impact on existing peace agreements and international law.

Throughout the committee process, the involvement of key stakeholders, including Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the United States, and regional actors, will be crucial in ensuring that all perspectives are taken into account. The engagement of the international community and multilateral partners will also be essential in fostering an environment for constructive dialogue and cooperation.

In parallel with the committee's review, efforts to revitalize the Israeli-Palestinian peace process are likely to remain a priority on the international agenda. The prospect of resuming direct negotiations and advancing confidence-building measures between the parties can contribute to creating a conducive environment for addressing the core issues at the heart of the conflict.


The decision by the United Nations Security Council to refer the Palestinian application for full UN membership to the Committee on the Admission of New Members signals a new phase in the consideration of the Palestinian statehood issue. The move reflects a recognition of the complexities and sensitivities involved in addressing the Palestinian quest for international recognition and legitimacy.

The committee process presents an opportunity for a comprehensive examination of the legal, political, and security implications of Palestinian statehood. It also offers a platform for strengthened engagement and dialogue among Security Council members and key stakeholders, with the aim of finding a path toward a mutually acceptable resolution.

As the committee undertakes its review, the need for constructive and inclusive engagement, as well as a commitment to addressing the interests and concerns of all parties involved, will be paramount. Ultimately, the referral of the Palestinian application to the committee presents an opportunity to advance the prospects for a just and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to contribute to stability and peace in the region.

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