The UN GA voting on August 3, 2012
The UN General Assembly Photo by AP
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Israeli envoy to the UN Ron Prosor at the United Nations, Aug. 1, 2011. Photo by GPO

The United Nations launched the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (IYSPP) at an official ceremony last Thursday.

The UN hopes the initiative will enhance efforts to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace and claims its purpose is to contribute to international awareness on the "question of Palestine" and the main obstacles to achieving a just solution, a statement issued by the UN stated.

Known as Resolution A/68/12, the initiative was adopted last November by 110 votes to 7, with 56 abstentions. Australia, Canada, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, and the United States voted against.

“The coming year will be crucial to achieving the two-State solution,” Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said in his remarks to the UN General Assembly’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People last week. “The Secretary-General and I urge all in the international community to work together to translate the solidarity and desire for peace expressed on this occasion into positive action for security and for justice.”

Israeli ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor slammed the event, declaring the UN a “propaganda machine" for the Palestinians. “Rather than putting an end to the provocative Palestinian campaign against Israel,” he said in an official statement to the media, “the UN provides a stage for these performances."