Norway votes in support of granting Palestine full membership status in the UN

The resolution states that Palestine is fully qualified for membership in the United Nations and recommends that the Security Council reconsiders the matter favourably. Pending the approval of such membership, the resolution, which was adopted by a vote of 143 to 9, with 25 abstentions, provides Palestine with stronger rights and status within the UN. Norway was a co-sponsor of the resolution.

‘We are very pleased the resolution was adopted with 143 countries voting in favour. This is evidence of the increasing international support for the Palestinian people’s demand for a state of their own,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

The resolution gives Palestine enhanced rights as an observer state. It may now participate alongside member countries in multiple UN contexts, such as conferences organised by the General Assembly. Palestinian representatives may also be elected to serve on various UN committees. The resolution does not, however, entail full UN membership for Palestine. Palestine is not granted the right to vote in the UN General Assembly; nor will it be able to put forward its candidature for the presidency of the General Assembly or to the Security Council.  

‘Norway has made it very clear that it supports Palestine’s application for full membership status in the UN, and that Norway will vote in favour the day the General Assembly holds a vote on the application. It is highly significant that the resolution asserts that Palestine is fully qualified for UN membership, and that it clearly recommends that the Security Council approves Palestine’s membership. Norway fully supports the Palestinian demand for full membership status in the UN. It was therefore important for Norway to vote Yes and to have co-sponsored the resolution. We believe its adoption can help us move forward in the effort to find a political solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine,’ said Mr. Eide.

In the resolution, the General Assembly asks the Security Council to reconsider Palestine’s application for membership in the United Nations. When the Security Council held a vote on the application on 18 April, 12 Council members voted to accept Palestine as a full member. The United States vetoed the measure, and it was therefore not sent to the General Assembly for consideration. The General Assembly requires an explicit recommendation by the Security Council, with at least nine Council members voting in favour and none exercising a veto, in order to consider Palestine’s membership application.

‘For over seven months, the war in Gaza has caused inconceivable destruction, suffering and loss of life. It has traumatised the people on both sides of the conflict. It has also shown us how important it is to achieve a two-state solution, in which Israel and Palestine exist side by side in peace and security. A Palestinian state is fundamental to realising the two-state solution conceptualised in the UN’s 1947 partition plan. Israelis and Palestinians cannot go back to life as they knew it on 6 October of last year,’ Mr Eide said.

Norway also voted in favour when Palestine was granted UN observer status in 2012.