Last updated: 5 August, 2012

Palestinians seek non-aligned support over UN status

Foreign ministers from the Non-Aligned Movement were on Sunday to give their backing for a fresh Palestinian bid to upgrade their UN status which will be presented on September 27.

Ministers from the NAM’s Palestine Committee were expected to arrive in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday for a two-day meeting at which they were to express support for the move, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki told reporters on Saturday.

Committee members are expected to adopt the so-called “Ramallah Declaration” in support of a Palestinian bid to upgrade their UN status from observer entity to that of a non-member state, he said.

The statement is “a political declaration that endorses and supports the Palestinian people’s right to have state, condemns settlements and supports the Palestinian bid to obtain non-member status at the UN,” Malki said.

The request to upgrade their status, which the minister said would be made on September 27, comes a year after Abbas tried to obtain full member status in a bold move which was never put to a vote in the UN Security Council following threats of a US veto.

“In the up-and-coming session of the General Assembly next month, President Abbas will speak about this on the 27th,” Malki said.

“Palestine will apply immediately to the UN and the head of the General Assembly will be informed that Palestine wants to obtain non-member status,” he said.

“After that, we will begin communicating with all components of the General Assembly to talk about the appropriate date” for a vote on the issue.

Malki said the move would also receive full backing from NAM states when the bloc gathers for its 16h annual summit, which will take place in Tehran later this month.

“The Non-Aligned summit in Tehran will adopt the Ramallah declaration,” he said.

The Non-Aligned Movement is a grouping of around 120 nations that consider themselves independent of the world’s major political blocs.

The bloc’s Palestine Committee comprises diplomats from Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Jordan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Senegal, Colombia, India, Cuba and Bangladesh.

Neither Indonesia nor Malaysia have diplomatic relations with Israel, and Algeria’s foreign minister said he would not be attending Sunday’s meeting in a bid to avoid any friction at the Israel-controlled border with the West Bank.