The United Nations voted Thursday to recognize Palestine as a state. This vote was an overwhelming victory for Palestine with more than two thirds of the vote for Palestine’s new statehood. Palestine’s new official title is now a non-member observer state at the United Nations. This title is shared only with the Vatican.
This was an embarrassing United States diplomatic defeat, losing the vote with only 9 votes while the positive votes for Palestine was an astounding 138 votes. Countries who voted against Palestine’s upgrade to statehood was Israel, the United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Panama, and several Pacific island nations.
“The recognition of a new State or Government is an act that only other States and Governments may grant or withhold. It generally implies readiness to assume diplomatic relations. The United Nations is neither a State nor a Government, and therefore does not possess any authority to recognize either a State or a Government,” this is according to the United Nations charter. This means that Palestine is not really considered a country until other countries recognize it as a country. The United Nations does not have the authority to make Palestine into its own country.
As a “nonmember observer state” Palestine will be able to join in international organizations and specialized United Nations agencies.
What really matters for Palestine now is if they can negotiate a peace deal with Israel. Israel still controls the West Bank, East Jerusalem and access to Gaza.
Only time will tell if this vote will help or hinder the peace process going on in the Middle East.