U.N. Appoints Palestine as Chair of G77 Developing Nations

Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour addresses the UN General Assembly

Following the resolution's adoption, most Western countries that voted in favor of the text said their move should not be misconstrued as recognition of the state of Palestine or a statement on its status at the United Nations. The US opposed the designation of the partially-recognized state as a United Nations non-member observer in 2012. Opposing Tuesday's vote were just three countries: Israel, Australia and the United States. Twenty-nine countries did not vote.

In that context, a resolution would be necessary to avail Palestine the rights and capacity to "perform the functions and the usual practices undertaken by the chair of G77 in the General Assembly", Egyptian Permanent Representative to the UN Mohamed Fathi Ahmed Edrees said. But the Palestinians pulled off a major victory despite the behind-the-scenes lobbying both by the U.S. and Israel to thwart the Palestinians. However, as a non-member state, the Palestinians can not speak in meetings until after member states, diplomats said.

Fifteen assembly members, meanwhile, abstained from voting.

Last month the civilized world audibly laughed at Trump as he engaged in another boorish display of Americana at the General Assembly, he added.

Calling the resolution "misguided", Cohen warned that the United States will "leave no doubt about where we stand" and will not recognize the Palestinians in their new UN role.

During last month's meeting of world leaders at the 193-member General Assembly, members of the G77 formalised their decision to give Palestinians the chair, in a boost to President Mahmoud Abbas' push for statehood and full United Nations membership.

Her deputy, Jonathan Cohen, said the resolution was "misguided" and added that the USA would not recognize the move.

"The Palestinians are not a UN Member State or any state at all".

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"Today's United Nations mistake undermines the prospects for peace by encouraging the illusion held by some Palestinian leaders that they can advance their goals without direct peace negotiations".

Palestine, al-Maliki said, "is ready to engage with good intentions with all countries and groups... to discuss all humanitarian issues of concern to societies and peoples".

General Assembly vote granting Palestinians a special status that enables them to take the reins of the Group of 77 next year.

"We strongly oppose the Palestinians' election as chair of the G77 as well as this so-called enabling resolution", he said.

He stressed that Palestine would spare no effort to prove its competence to represent and defend the G77 and China, while also engaging constructively and transparently nwith all partners.

These include the right to make statements, submit proposals and amendments and introduce them on behalf of the Group; to co-sponsor proposals and amendments; and to raise procedural motions, among other rights. Israel captured those territories in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally.

"The greater challenge is to translate these symbolic victories, important as they may be, into substantive achievements", he declared.

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