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Switzerland abstains from vote on Palestinian bid for full UN membership


On Friday, Switzerland abstained from the vote at the General Assembly on granting the Palestinians new rights at the United Nations (UN).

This position is in line with Switzerland’s abstention at the UN Security Council in April on full membership for Palestine, the foreign ministry points out.

Friday’s vote was based on the view that the resolution presented by the United Arab Emirates “contains too many elements that prejudge the outcome of a possible review of Palestine’s full membership by the UN Security Council”, explained the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) on its website dedicated to the Middle East conflict.

In other words, the text adopted by a large majority of UN member states – with 143 votes in favour, nine against and 25 abstentions – cuts to the quick. The FDFA points out that, according to the UN Charter, for a state to become a full member, a recommendation from the Security Council is a necessary condition before the General Assembly can take a decision.

On April 18, the United States vetoed the Palestinian application for membership at the Security Council. Switzerland and the United Kingdom abstained, while the other 12 members voted in favour.

In justifying its abstention on April 18, Switzerland took the view that “from a peace policy perspective”, Palestine’s accession “is not conducive to easing the situation on the ground, given the great instability and insecurity prevailing in the region”.

Similarly, with regard to Friday’s vote, although it is “not opposed to it”, Switzerland says it considers it “preferable to consider a change in the status of Palestine in the UN at a time when this would be consistent with the logic of an emerging peace.

Adapted from French by DeepL/ac

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR