Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on Wednesday welcomed the results of a UN General Assembly vote that enhanced the Palestinian state’s ability to function as the Group of 77 (G77)’s next chair.
A coalition of developing nations, the G77 was established in 1964 to promote the economic interests of its member-states and bolster their collective negotiating capacity at UN forums.
In a statement, al-Maliki said Palestine, as the group’s next rotating chair, would “strive to unite global efforts -- and mobilize regional and international organizations -- with a view to serving humanity”.
Wednesdays’ General Assembly vote, he said, represented “a challenge that will be turned into an opportunity for the benefit of group members and the entire world”.
Palestine, al-Maliki said, “is ready to engage with good intentions with all countries and groups… to discuss all humanitarian issues of concern to societies and peoples”.
He added: “We are capable of advancing and strengthening the UN agenda with Palestinian expertise… in the environmental, developmental and economic fields.”
Earlier Wednesday, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of a draft resolution granting Palestine the G77’s rotating chairmanship for 2019.
Submitted by Egypt, the draft resolution passed with 146 assembly members voting in favor and three -- the U.S., Australia and Israel -- voting against.
Fifteen assembly members, meanwhile, abstained from voting.
The Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), for its part, hailed the move, which, it said, “reflects the correct international position regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state and the [Palestinian] right to enjoy full UN membership”.
In a statement, OIC Secretary-General Yusuf al-Uthaymeen called for mobilizing international efforts to support the Palestinian people and their legitimate right to a sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital.
While Palestine has been a full-fledged member of the G77 since 1976, it only enjoys the status of “non-member observer state” at the UN.
Therefore, the rights and privileges enjoyed by Palestine vary from one UN agency to the other based on those agencies’ respective procedures and bylaws.