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Singapore among 143 countries that voted to support Palestine’s UN membership bid



Singapore among 143 countries that voted to support Palestine’s UN membership bid​


Singapore made the decision to back the admission of Palestine to the UN after “serious and careful consideration”. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Singapore on May 10 voted for a United Nations resolution backing the admission of Palestine as a member of the world body, saying the decision was made after “serious and careful consideration”.

The vote in the UN General Assembly was supported by 143 members and opposed by nine – including the United States and Israel – while 25 members abstained.

It comes seven months after the Oct 7 terror attack by Hamas on Israel killed around 1,200 people and saw over 200 hostages captured, and as Israel’s ongoing military response has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians and led to the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Gaza.

“As a friend of both Israel and Palestine, we in Singapore are deeply grieved by this state of affairs. Singapore’s vote reflects our heartfelt desire to see both parties resume direct face-to-face negotiations in good faith,” said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan shortly after the vote.

“At this time of darkness, the status quo is not enough, and we need a reset, a restart of diplomatic efforts. We therefore joined the rest of the international community in calling on leaders of both sides – show leadership, demonstrate courage, and take the tremendously difficult but essential first steps towards a two-state solution,” he said in a statement.

The vote to recognise Palestine as qualified to join the UN comes after the US vetoed such a move in the 15-member UN Security Council in April. The Palestinians are currently a non-member observer state, a recognition of statehood granted by the UN General Assembly in 2012.

“Ideally, Palestine’s UN membership should have been considered when hostilities were ceased, when all civilian hostages were released, and when Israelis and Palestinians were back at the negotiating table,” said Dr Balakrishnan.

“But, frankly, we are now so far from those conditions that Singapore and many other countries had to consider how our vote today would help lay the groundwork for an end to hostilities that would hopefully lead to an enduring peace.”

He said that difficult as this may now be, amid outrage and a breakdown of trust on both sides, the only viable solution to the longstanding conflict between Israel and Palestine is to revive efforts towards a two-state solution.

He also reiterated that terrorism has no place in any process leading to a stable and peaceful political solution.

“Groups, including Hamas, that continue to deny Israel’s existence or refuse to renounce terrorism have no place in a future Palestinian state. For these reasons, Singapore will not work with any Palestinian group, including Hamas, that denies Israel’s right to exist or refuses to renounce terrorism against it,” he said.

In his statement, the minister noted that Singapore has always supported a negotiated two-state solution with Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace and security, consistent with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

The Republic has supported the right of the Palestinian people to a homeland in this context, and welcomed the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) proclamation of the State of Palestine in 1988, he noted. Most importantly, the PLO explicitly rejected terrorism and recognised Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, he added.

The PLO’s position enabled the Oslo Accords to be reached with Israel in 1993 and 1995, which led to the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority and an interim arrangement for governance of the West Bank and Gaza. Unfortunately, developments in the three decades since Oslo have failed to bring both sides any closer to a resolution, said Dr Balakrishnan.

Meanwhile, Singapore has focused on providing the Palestinian Authority (PA) with support in its preparation for statehood, and trained more than 700 Palestinian officials since 2013, including fully funded scholarships for postgraduate studies, he said. “We remain committed to providing even more support to the PA under the new Prime Minister, Dr Mohammad Mustafa, whom I met two months ago,” he added.

Dr Balakrishnan noted that prospects for peace have become bleaker, with extremist views gaining ground on both sides, and public support for the two-state solution having diminished. The illegal building of settlements in the West Bank has also continued unabated, he added.

“Both sides have a right to exist and both peoples have a right to live in peace and dignity within secure borders. Both sides have legitimate rights and shared responsibilities, and difficult compromises must be struck in the months and years ahead through direct negotiations,” he said.

“The alternative is to have endless repeated cycles of violence and retribution,” he added. “As a friend of both Israel and Palestine, we urge both sides to avoid violence, to reject violence and to resume negotiations towards a two-state solution with the help and the support of the international community.”


The world is going for the worse. CCP terrorizing the world. Palestinian got recognize ?
You ask me if there's God, but someone told me it for the greater glory of God if the World gets messier ?


Just for this, I will vote for PAP. But just this once until I get my island back.

Correct. Means GE is very near and PAP wants to win Malay votes.

Muuds as usual will fall for it hook line and sinker. When PAP wins again causing higher costs of living, Muuds will not be able to cope and have to resort to riding Grab, take drugs, imprison, release from prison, commit incest, go back to prison, rinse and repeat. :biggrin: