The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) encourages the Australian Government to vote in support of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution to give Palestine de-facto UN member status.

Following 57 years of military occupation, the Palestinian people deserve to have a right to be represented in the United Nations where their representatives can give voice directly to the experience of Palestinian people.

The current humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and the ongoing denial of people’s human rights in the West Bank underscores that the time has come for the Australian Government to change its position.

According to the UNGA Resolution 1514 (1960): “All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they may freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

This vote would extend this right to the Palestinian people and would be action behind the words of many world leaders already supporting this right.

Reports on the draft resolution, which will be voted for on Friday, say that the resolution would grant Palestine the right to operate within the UNGA as a member state. This would not include the right to vote, which would need United Nations Security Council approval.

Quotes attributable to Marc Purcell, CEO of ACFID:

“This vote gives the Australian Government the opportunity to show its commitment to a pathway to peace for both Israelis and Palestinians, in line with the Labor Government’s commitment to a two-state solution.

“Today in Gaza and the West Bank, the right to self-determination is being denied to the Palestinian people. There is ongoing destruction of cultural and religious sites, as well as their homes and livelihoods. They should have the ability to speak about their plight and their rights at the UN.

“As former UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold, famously once said: ‘The UN was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell’. This vote will hopefully give Palestinians some hope for their future in what are some of their darkest days. It will remind them that many countries have not turned their back on them, and Australia should be a part of this shift.

“The world is watching as the invasion of Rafah begins, and with it the soul shattering footage of scared Palestinian women, children, and families with nowhere to run. This vote is an opportunity which should not go by without the Australian Government being on the right side of history.

“Both Palestinians and Israelis have the right to live in peace and security.”

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