Browne hails Trinidad and Tobago role in UN Palestine resolution

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Dr Amery Browne –

FOREIGN and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne says Trinidad and Tobago takes pride in the role it played in the successful adoption of a resolution by the UN General Assembly in New York on May 10 which supports Palestine’s membership in the UN.

A total of 147 nations (including TT) supported the resolution.

Nine nations opposed the resolution- Czechia, Hungary, Argentina, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Israel and the US.

Another 25 nations abstained when called upon to vote.

The resolution also granted the Palestinian Authority new privileges in its current capacity as a non-member observer state.

Under the UN’s conventions, while a general assembly vote cannot confer UN membership for any state, an approved resolution will endow the Palestinian Authority with new procedural rights and privileges.

While only member states can vote, the resolution will give the Palestinian Authority the chance to be seated among member states in alphabetical order, submit and introduce proposals and amendments, and co-sponsor proposals and amendments.

The resolution also allows the authority to make statements and explanations of votes and have the right to reply on behalf of a group within the UN.

It can also request proposals to be put to a vote and request items to be put on the general assembly’s provisional agenda.

TT, through its UN Ambassador Dennis Francis, currently holds the presidency of the general assembly.

Browne, who is currently in Ghana with the Prime Minister, spoke to Newsday via WhatsApp on this development.

“I am pleased to indicate that, consistent with TT’s principled support for the advancement of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Today, our nation not only supported today’s landmark resolution at the 10th emergency special session of the UNGA but we were also co-sponsors of the resolution.”

Browne reiterated TT’s position with respect to working alongside international partners towards finding peaceful solutions to resolve the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict.

“We will continue to advance and align with measures aimed at achieving a genuine two-state solution and an end to the cycle of violence that has affected all the people of that region.”

On May 2, TT formally recognised the state of Palestine.

A statement issued by the Foreign and Caricom Affairs Ministry on that day said TT has been a longstanding advocate of the two-state solution, as this is the only credible path to peace and security for Palestinians, the Israelis and, by extension, the wider region.

“Recognition of Palestine is moral and just and demonstrates TT’s acknowledgement of and support for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.

“TT will join 141 other countries that recognise Palestine, Algeria being the first to have done so in 1988.”

The ministry said TT’s support for the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination can be seen in its endorsement of key resolutions on Palestine at the UNGA.

These include Resolution 67/19, which gave Palestine non-member observer state status in the UNGA, and the annual resolutions of the UNGA on the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, and the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine.

The ministry said at a post Cabinet news conference on October 23, Dr Rowley said Government supports the two-state solution to the Israel-Gaza conflict.

On May 6, the Anjuman Sunnatul Jamaat Association (ASJA) praised Government’s formal recognition of Palestine.

Earlier this week, a group called The Understanding Israel Foundation opposed Government’s recognition of Palestine.

In a statement, the group said, “This misstep portrays Trinidad and Tobago as both uninformed and disconnected from the realities of the peace process.”

The group has given its legal team from the law firm of J Young & Co instructions to “address the matter directly with the Office of the Prime Minister.”