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(CNSNews.com) – The bloc of developing nations at the United Nations on Tuesday handed its presidency to the “State of Palestine,” with the U.N.’s top brass applauding the elevation of an entity that is neither a sovereign country nor a U.N. member-state, but which enjoys strong support across the world body.
“I congratulate the State of Palestine as it assumes the presidency of the Group of 77 and China for 2019,” said U.N. secretary-general Antonio Guterres, who together with General Assembly president María Fernanda Espinosa flanked Palestinian Authority (P.A.) chairman Mahmoud Abbas at the gavel-handover ceremony in New York.
Excellency - President - Mahmoud - Abbas - Today
“I welcome your excellency President Mahmoud Abbas and thank you for joining us today, as a clear demonstration of the strong commitment of the State of Palestine to an effective presidency of the Group of 77 and China,” Guterres said. His spokesman at a later press briefing called the move “historic.”
For her part, Espinosa called the Palestinian presidency of the G77 “a sign of the triumph of multilateralism, and a demonstration of how important is the role played by the most democratic and representative body here in the United Nations.”
Abbas - Mandate - President - State - Palestine
Abbas’ mandate as “president of the State of Palestine” expired a decade ago, but no elections have been held since.
The U.S. and Israel last summer strongly opposed the decision by the G77 to hand its presidency to the Palestinians, and also opposed a General Assembly resolution in October giving the Palestinian observer mission the powers of a member-state, temporarily, to facilitate its presidency. The resolution passed overwhelmingly, with only the U.S., Israel and Australia voting “no.”
Embarrassing - UN - Membership
“Embarrassing for the UN membership that they...
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