Amid all the hogwash that passes for political commentary - it is apparent that the 15 members of the Security Council are facing a huge dilemma in deciding whether to recommend the admission of Palestine to the United Nations as its 194th member - after deliberating on the application now for more than six weeks.
The lengthy delay has nothing to do with the supposed closeness of the vote. Rather it has to deal with proper scrutiny of the application in accordance with the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice delivered on 28 May 1948.
Palestine’s application to the UN under Article 4(1) of the UN Charter has been made by Mahmoud Abbas as President of Palestine and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization - which is entirely different to that made to UNESCO under Article II (2) of the UNESCO constitution
Stringent conditions must be complied with when seeking to join the UN - as the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice clearly set out:
The requisite conditions are five in number: to be admitted to membership in the United Nations, an applicant must (1) be a State; (2) be peace-loving; (3) accept the obligations of the Charter; (4) be able to carry out these obligations; and (5) be willing to do so.
The Court further drew attention to Rule 60 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council which states:
The Security Council shall decide whether in its judgment the applicant is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the Charter, and accordingly whether to recommend the applicant State for membership.
The Court declared that:
It does not, however, follow from the exhaustive character of paragraph 1 of Article 4 that an appreciation is precluded of such circumstances of fact as would enable the existence of the requisite conditions to be verified. Article 4 does not forbid the taking into account of any factor which it is possible reasonably and in good faith to connect with the conditions laid down in that Article. The taking into account of such factors is implied in the very wide and very elastic nature of the prescribed conditions; no relevant political factor-that is to say, none connected with the conditions of admission-is excluded.
Clearly there are at least two critical issues that the Security Council must in its judgement determine - taking into account any political factor connected with the admission - that should sink this application:
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