Palestinians Seek to Enhance UN Status to Observer State

Position paper to be distributed to European governments as follow-up to September 2011 request for UN recognition.

The Palestine Liberation Organization will distribute a position paper to European governments on Wednesday, asking to enhance Palestine's United Nations status to that of Observer State.

The document will emphasize that the request is a follow-up to its existing application for UN membership, submitted on September 23, 2011.

It will also stress that the step is "consistent with the formal Palestinian recognition of Israel in 1993, and consistent with the internationally endorsed goal of the peace process — two states living side by side in peace and security on the basis of the pre-1967 borders --- which necessarily requires an independent state of Palestine."

The PLO document argues that UN recognition is necessary to "achieve the ultimate objective of the two-state solution and to expedite its realization at a time when Israel is incessantly and recklessly undermining that solution and the prospects for achieving a just peace".

It adds that together with the international community, Palestine believes that the "status quo of political deadlock, while occupation, colonization and apartheid policies become further entrenched, is neither acceptable nor sustainable".

 The PLO's document emphasizes that the initiative at the United Nations does not contradict, nor is it a substitute for, negotiations: "These are parallel paths that complement one another. Enhancing Palestine's status at the United Nations to Observer State will establish the right framework for negotiations and reaffirm the internationally-agreed upon terms of reference and end game of a credible political process, to which we remain committed," says the document.

"In undertaking this initiative, Palestine asks the world to reaffirm that the Palestinians are not the exception to the international rule that they will not be punished for pursuing a peaceful, political and diplomatic initiative on the basis of international law," adds the document.

"In resorting to the United Nations General Assembly where 193 members are represented, Palestine is undertaking a multilateral step par excellence. We invite the international community to lend us its support and, in so doing, undertake a practical and long overdue step towards reaffirming the illegitimacy of Israeli occupation and the urgency of realizing the two-state solution. It is time."