Ireland’s deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore has backed the Palestinian bid for membership of the United Nations, when he addressed the UN General Assembly this morning, during his state visit to New York.
“The decision of President Abbas to seek Palestine’s membership of the United Nations is entirely legitimate,” Gilmore said.
“Palestine has the same right to membership of the United Nations as Ireland or any other member of this organization.”
Speaking this morning Gilmore said Ireland shared the same values as the UN: “It is our deep commitment to freedom and equality which places Ireland in the vanguard of international efforts to resolve conflict; to create and maintain peace; to eradicate hunger and under-development; to put an end to human rights abuses around the world”.
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The leader of the Labour party said that Israel’s borders are no more defined than Palestine’s.
“Some seek to argue that Palestine cannot be recognised as a state because its borders remain to be agreed. But if the borders of Palestine are still a matter for negotiation, then so, by definition, are those of Israel, which is rightly a full member of the UN,” he said.
“Nobody should pretend that admitting Palestine now to membership of the UN would, of itself, change the unstable and unacceptable situation on the ground,” he will say. “It will not remove the compelling need for negotiations.”
The minister said that UN recognition of a Palestine state would “give dignity and support to the Palestinian people who have suffered for too long”.
“It would also be a tangible demonstration of the commitment of the international community . . . to an agreed settlement between two sovereign states, living side by side, in peace, security and prosperity.”
Refering to Martin Luther King’s belief in “the fierce urgency of now”, Gilmore predicted: “a final end to the Arab-Israeli conflict” will have a “hugely transformative power for the Middle East”.