55th Session Adopts 20 Palestinian Resolutions by Traditional Overwhelming Majority

Similar to past sessions, the 55th session of the U.N. General Assembly adopted a package of resolutions regarding the question of Palestine by the traditional overwhelming majority of Member States. 20 Palestinian resolutions comprised this year’s package of resolutions, 2 of which had yet to be voted on as of the printing of this issue. Those resolutions were adopted under eight separate agenda items, in addition to 2 resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan. 2 more resolutions regarding the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East were also adopted. (For complete voting results, see chart on 55th session resolutions.)

The Palestinian resolutions were based on the texts of the resolutions of the 54th session, with some important changes made to reflect recent developments, including the serious deterioration of the humanitarian situation on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, due to the continuing Israeli military campaign. Among the most significant changes were the changes made to texts of the resolutions on the "Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination" and "Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine".

In the first operative paragraph of the resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, the Assembly "reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to a State", as opposed to last year’s text, which read: "including the option of a State." This change in the text was reflective of the sweeping support among Member States for the Palestinian right to statehood, which was also confirmed by the sponsorship of 91 countries for the resolution and the highest number of votes in favor of a Palestinian resolution, which totaled 170 countries.

With regard to the resolution on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, along with a reaffirmation of basic principles regarding the question and a just and lasting solution, the resolution dealt, inter alia, directly with the critical situation on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. The resolution also addressed the current difficulties facing the Middle East peace process. The resolutions under the item of Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices, particularly the resolutions on Israeli settlements and Israeli practices, also underwent changes to reflect the deterioration of the situation and escalating Israeli violations of the rights of the Palestinian people.

In general, the voting results in overwhelming support of the Palestinian resolutions acquired additional importance in light of the ongoing Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people. Furthermore, these results were arrived at in spite of the aggressive Israeli campaign against the majority of the resolutions. Overall, the resolutions and their adoption by the vast majority of Member States carry great moral and legal value, which must be respected and upheld. In this regard, we once again reiterate that U.N. resolutions on the question of Palestine represent international legitimacy and remain the ultimate foundation for the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the basis of any Middle East peace settlement that is to be just and lasting.