Norway is a strong supporter of Palestinian rights and aspirations of statehood in accordance with international law. We are committed to continue empowering the Palestinian institutions. The Palestinian Authority is already above the threshold of a functioning State in key sectors concerned. This was endorsed by the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), chaired by Norway, in 2011 and 2012.
We support an upgraded status of Palestine in the UN General Assembly to “Non-Member Observer State”. This is consistent with our longstanding position on the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two-state solution. We supported the Partition Plan in the UN General Assembly in 1947, Israel’s admission as a full member state of the UN in 1949, including the declarations made in that context, and recognised Israel as a State the same year.
The adopted resolution is based on the two-state solution and the principles therein, and does not prejudge the outcomes of final status negotiations between the parties. Neither does it violate the Oslo accords. The Palestinians have a legitimate right to take this step, based on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. Furthermore, it is time for the UN General Assembly to recognize the serious efforts undertaken by the Palestinian Authority to build effective state institutions.
An upgraded status of Palestine in the UN is not a provocative step and sends a message that the PLO and President Abbas are genuinely committed to a peaceful solution based on diplomatic means. But with rights follow responsibilities. It is time for the Palestinians to unite in building a society based on democracy, rule of law and human rights. The fact that this resolution has broad backing on the Palestinian side is a positive step.
Norway is strongly committed to a two-state solution with a sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side with the State of Israel, in peace within secure and recognized borders. Only a negotiated solution between the parties can bring lasting peace and security for both Palestinians and Israelis. We appeal to both sides to build on today’s decision in a constructive manner and urgently resume comprehensive negotiations.
Our support of an upgraded status of Palestine in the UN does not prejudge the question of recognition. The national procedures to formally recognize the State of Palestine are still pending.
Read the draft resolution here.