- On 20th September 2011 the Palestinian Authority will unilaterally declare independence at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York and seek recognition as a sovereign state and 194th Member of the international community of states embodied in the United Nations.
- The PA will seek recognition from the Member-States of the UN and the UN Security Council of the state of Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.
- This move has been a long time coming and has its foundation in a broad body of international law. These include UNSCR 242 and 1397, regarding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Occupied Palestinian Territories; UNGAR 181, 2253 and 2254 and also UNSCR 267, 298, 476 and 478 regarding the status of Jerusalem and its occupation by Israel; UNSCR 446, 452, 465, 471 regarding the illegality of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
- The ongoing, illegal occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the introduction of new obstacles to peace, in the form of the blockade on Gaza, the illegal wall constructed in the occupied West Bank , and the expansion of illegal settlements in East Jerusalem, have all contributed to the loss of Palestinian confidence in the peace process and its oftpromised outcomes.
- The vote in the General Assembly must be backed by a majority in the Security Council for the vote to materially deliver a seat for Palestine in the UN as a sovereign state and international recognition as a member of the community of states. The Palestinian Authority is confident of securing the two-thirds majority it requires in the General Assembly, 129 votes out of the total 193.
- The US Government has threatened to exercise its veto power to obstruct passage through the UN Security Council
- The unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood finds its culmination in the two-year program of the 13th Government of the Palestinian National Authority, ‘Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State,’ adopted in August 2009.
- International bodies such as the IMF, the World Bank and the UN accept that Palestinian institutions are ready to assume the responsibilities of statehood.
- The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has previously spoken of the need for “decisive leadership” in resolving this protracted conflict. To act otherwise, he said, would only foment “decades of potential conflict and even deeper difficulties in the Middle East.”
- The Palestinian Authority has taken the initiative and shown “decisive leadership” in declaring its intent to push a vote for recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN in September 2011. We would urge the British Government to match this with a display of “decisive leadership” of its own and vote in favour of recognition in order to rescue the peace process and to make progress towards a fully negotiated settlement by establishing its long-overdue and principal outcome: a viable, independent and sovereign Palestinian state.
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