- Last Updated: 1:29 AM, November 30, 2012
- Posted: 1:29 AM, November 30, 2012
The Palestinian Authority joins the Vatican as the only other entity with nonmember observer state statusn at the United Nations. In practice, this title gives it few new powers.
Much of what unfolds will depend on how hard the Palestinians want to pursue membership in various agencies, and who will support them:
* The upgraded Palestinian Authority still won’t be able to introduce resolutions to the General Assembly. It would have to find a sympathetic nation-state or bloc of nations in the Assembly to introduce any resolution, as it does now.
* The International Court of Justice, or “World Court,” accepts only disputes between fully recognized member-states of the United Nations.
* The International Criminal Court at the Hague can review war crimes. Israel has objected to the possibility of the Palestinians bringing cases to the ICC, but they would need special permission to do so.
The Palestinian Authority tried to have alleged Israeli crimes in the 2008-2009 Gaza conflict investigated, but prosecutors in April refused to open an investigation, unsure if the Palestinians qualified to do so.
* Officials believe that even as a nonmember state, the Palestinians could join influential international bodies, such as the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the World Bank and the International Criminal Court.
While membership in some of these bodies would be symbolic, some could provide a useful platform for the Palestinians.