UAE’s Support for Palestine at the UN General Assembly

In a historic move, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has taken a bold step towards advocating for the recognition of Palestine as an independent state and its full membership in the United Nations. This resolution, recently passed by the UN General Assembly, garnered overwhelming support with 143 members voting in favor and only 9 countries, including the United States, opposing it. This development is seen as a significant stride towards regional and global peace and security, potentially setting a precedent for addressing other longstanding conflicts, such as the Kashmir issue.

The conflict in Palestine has deep roots dating back to the mid-20th century when the state of Israel was established on Palestinian land, under British mandate. The UN General Assembly resolutions of 1948 had initially proposed a two-state solution, granting both Palestinians and Israelis the right to self-determination. However, geopolitical ambitions, primarily driven by the United States and the United Kingdom, have consistently thwarted the implementation of these resolutions, leading to prolonged suffering and instability in the region. Israel’s expansionist policies, supported by the US, have aimed at erasing Palestinian presence and claims to the land. This has included illegal settlements, aggressive military actions, and systematic efforts to displace Palestinians. Similarly, India’s expansionist ambitions in Kashmir, coupled with its atrocities against Kashmiris, reflect a parallel situation of disregard for international law and human rights.

The UAE’s resolution is a breath of fresh air, rekindling hopes for justice and self-determination for the Palestinian people. It also brings to light the need for the international community to revisit and honor the commitments made in the past, including those related to Kashmir. The support from a significant majority at the UN General Assembly underscores a global consensus on the necessity of recognizing Palestinian statehood. The UAE’s action is more than symbolic; it places pressure on the United Nations to uphold its resolutions and take concrete steps towards peace. This move could potentially inspire similar actions concerning other unresolved issues, such as the Kashmir conflict. The international community has long recognized the right of Kashmiris to self-determination, but effective action has been lacking.

The passage of the resolution was met with mixed reactions. Gilad Erdan, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, demonstrated his disapproval by theatrically shredding the UN Charter on the General Assembly floor. This act of defiance highlighted Israel’s frustration and fear of losing its grip on the narrative and control over Palestinian territories. Meanwhile, the resolution’s passage was seen as a moral victory for Palestine, galvanizing international support against Israeli aggression. At the time of the resolution’s debate, Israeli forces were intensifying their attacks on Gaza, resulting in numerous casualties and further deepening the humanitarian crisis. Over the past eight months, Israeli aggression has led to the deaths of more than 34,000 Palestinians, including women and children. The destruction has been widespread, leaving the Gaza Strip devastated and its residents in dire conditions.

The UAE’s resolution also brings attention to the ineffective role of the United Nations in enforcing its own resolutions. Similar to the League of Nations before it, the UN has often been rendered impotent in the face of powerful nations’ interests. The persistent use of veto power by the United States to block resolutions critical of Israel has exacerbated the situation, preventing meaningful progress towards peace.

The global response to the UAE’s resolution has been varied. In Western and European countries, there have been significant protests and demonstrations in support of Palestinian rights. These movements have put pressure on their governments to take a firmer stance against Israeli policies. However, concrete actions remain limited, with many governments issuing statements of condemnation but stopping short of imposing sanctions or taking other decisive measures. In the Muslim world, Iran has been the most vocal and active in its opposition to Israeli actions, even resorting to missile and rocket attacks in response to Israeli aggression. Other Muslim-majority countries have largely confined their responses to diplomatic condemnations and resolutions. The lack of a unified and robust response from the Muslim world underscores the complexities and divisions within the region.

The UAE’s decision to champion Palestine’s cause at the United Nations is a courageous step that could pave the way for renewed international efforts to resolve the conflict. It highlights the urgent need for a comprehensive and just solution that respects the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people. Moreover, it serves as a reminder that the international community has a responsibility to address other unresolved conflicts, such as Kashmir, with the same vigor and commitment. For the United Nations, the resolution presents an opportunity to reassert its relevance and effectiveness in maintaining global peace and security. By taking concrete steps to implement its resolutions and hold violators accountable, the UN can restore faith in its ability to mediate and resolve international conflicts.

Sahibzada Usman
Sahibzada Usman

The writer holds a PhD in geopolitics and is the author of ‘Different Approaches on Central Asia: Economic, Security, and Energy’ with Lexington, USA.

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