The French President Nicolas Sarkozy has suggested the UN create a non-member observer state of Palestine.
He proposed a one-year roadmap for peace in the Middle East with a “precise timetable” of negotiations, in his address to the United Nations General Assembly.
Without mentioning the US, he also warned that a Security Council veto of Palestinian statehood might bring a new cycle of violence.
An upgrade of their recognition at the UN, while short of full statehood might give the Palestinians more international clout.
“Why not envisage for Palestine the status of an ‘observer state’ at the United Nations?” asked Nicolas Sarkozy in New York. “The solution is on the table. Choose this solution of compromise over that of deadlock. For deadlock will perhaps satisfy everyone here, but it will create violence, bitterness and opposition which will endanger the awakening of the Arab people.”
The option of “non-member observer state” would require only a simple majority at the UN, as opposed to the two-thirds majority required for full statehood. It might enable the Palestinians to join bring the International Criminal Court and bring legal cases against Israel, although that would not be an automatic right.
The Palestinians are already aware of such a status, which is what the Vatican has. A spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian president would consider Sarkozy’s proposal.