REPORT: Where The 13 United Nations Security Council Members Stand On The Upcoming Palestine Vote

The United Nations Security Council

On Friday, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas laid out his plans to seek full membership at the United Nations Security Council this week. In order for the vote to succeed, it needs nine votes and no veto, and then approval by a two-thirds majority of members of the General Assembly. Alternatively, the Palestinians can seek to win only limited membership as a non-voting member in the General Assembly as a fallback option.

ThinkProgress has reviewed the positions of the 13 Security Council members. Five members are firm supporters of the Palestinian bid, while two, like the United States are opposed. The largest group of countries is the undecided:


CHINA: The Chinese government announced early this month that it “respects, understands and supports” the Palestinian bid.

INDIA: India, “the first non-Arab state to recognise Palestine in 1988,” announced last week that it would support the Palestinian bid.

LEBANON: Lebanon has announced that it will vote in support of the Palestinian bid.

RUSSIA: Russia announced last week that it will support the Palestinian bid. “We will, of course, vote for any of the Palestinian proposals. But I must say that we did not push them toward this,” said envoy Vitaly Churkin.

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa announced earlier this month that it will support the Palestinian bid. It will also be actively lobbying African Union member countries to throw their support behind the Palestinians.


BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: Bosnia and Herzegovina is at this time undecided on how it will vote. The Palestinian delegation has been lobbying them heavily since last week.

BRAZIL: Brazil has not announced an official position on the vote yet. However, a spokesman for Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff did note that the country already recognizes Palestine as a state and that there will be “no change in that position,” signaling that the Brazilians are leaning toward a “yes” vote.

COLOMBIA: Colombia has not announced a strong position on the bid, but they are being heavily lobbied by Israeli officials to oppose the Palestinian move. Colombia has been seeking closer ties with Israel lately.

FRANCE: France has not announced how it will vote on Abbas’ move for full membership. It has offered, however, to support Palestinian efforts to seek limited membership, which they could achieve by going to the General Assembly.

GABON: The Palestinians are currently lobbying Gabon’s government to support their bid. Foreign Policy’s David Bosco argues that they are “on the fence.”

NIGERIA: Israeli officials still consider Nigeria to be “in play” as it is undecided.

PORTUGAL: Portugal remains undecided. Some European Union diplomats expect Portugal to vote in favor.

UNITED KINGDOM: The United Kingdom is “still refusing to clarify exactly how it will vote when Palestinians” bid for full membership. A majority of the British public support the bid.


GERMANY: Germany is one of the few European Union members who have firmly committed to voting against full membership for Palestine.

UNITED STATES: The United States is strongly opposed to the Palestinian bid. American diplomats and public officials have said that the move would be counterproductive and derail negotiations with Israel. Polling shows that a plurality of Americans support the bid.

While the Palestinians lobby world governments to support their move for membership, a new poll released by the BBC and Globescan finds that global public opinion is leaning in their favor. Forty-nine percent of people in 19 countries polled supported the Palestinian bid and 21 percent were opposed. Support was highest in Egypt with 90 percent of people in favor and 9 percent opposed, and lowest in India, with 32 percent in favor and 25 percent opposed.


Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, the first woman to ever open a U.N. General Assembly debate, announced just now that her country supports Palestine’s bid.

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