The Electronic Intifada has obtained a copy of the full text of the application for UN membership for the “State of Palestine” presented yesterday by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The package contains 5 documents that we publish here. They are:
- A note from the President of the Security Council transmitting the application to other members;
- A cover letter from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the President of the Security Council conveying the Palestinian application;
- A “Declaration of the State of Palestine” signed by Mahmoud Abbas;
- A cover letter for the application to the Secretary-General signed by Mahmoud Abbas;
- The application itself - a two-page document again signed by Abbas.
Safeguarding or endangering self-determination?
It is notable that the cover letter signed by Abbas states:
This application for membership is being submitted based on the Palestinian people’s natural, legal and historic rights and based on United Nations General Assembly resolution 181(II) of 29 November 1947 as well as the Declaration of Independence of the State of Palestine of 15 November 1988 and the acknowledgment by the General Assembly of this Declaration in resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988.
It is notable that the letter gives such prominence to resolution 181, the 1947 “partition” resolution which recommended the partition of Palestine without the consent of its indigenous people.
The partition was, as I have argued elsewhere, a negation of the right of Palestinians, as a people anticipating decolonization, to self-determination.
The full application mentions other resolutions, including resolution 194, affirming the right of return of refugees, but an initial reading of the documents shows that they mash together all sorts of concepts including “self-determination,” “statehood,” the “the vision of a two-State solution” and accord undue weight to statements of the “Quartet” an ad hoc body that had consistently undermined Palestinian rights.
In any case, these documents will certainly need more analysis.