PH hails Palestine 'birth' as U.N. state
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines joined 138 countries that voted for Palestine's recognition as a United Nations (UN) non-member state, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday, November 30, hailing this resolution.
In a historic 138-9 vote with 41 abstentions, the UN General Assembly on Thursday, November 29, voted to recognize Palestine as a non-member state despite fierce opposition from the United States and Israel.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said this is a "birth certificate of the reality of the state of Palestine."
"The Philippines supports Palestine's quest for self-rule and self-determination, and we hope that one day an independent Palestine may live side by side in peace with its neighbors," said DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez in a text message.
Hernandez said the Philippines cast its vote in favor of Palestine "in line with this desire and our support for the two-state solution."
Not full member
With the vote, the Palestinian Authority is upgraded from an observer entity to a "non-member observer state" status. This is the same status held by Vatican City.
The resolution does not make Palestine a full member, but allows it to join UN agencies and possibly the International Criminal Court.
Palestine said it aims to use this "historic" vote to relaunch talks with Israel, which have remained frozen for over two years.
Dissenters, however, said the resolution could lead to more violence.
The United States said the vote creates "obstacles" to peace between Palestine and close US ally Israel.
"Today's unfortunate and counterproductive resolution places further obstacles in the path to peace. That is why the United States voted against it," said the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, before the UN General Assembly. – Rappler.com, with reports from Agence France-Presse