Kenya Votes Yes For Palestine At United Nations

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Kenya has thrown its support behind a significant resolution at the United Nations, granting the State of Palestine enhanced rights and privileges within the international body.

This decision comes amidst a backdrop of escalating violence in the Gaza Strip, with voices at the United Nations Civil Society Conference in Nairobi clamouring for an immediate cessation of hostilities. 

Nairobi has been silent on the matter since President William Ruto threw his backing behind Israel at the start of the hostilities.

Ambassador Martin Kimani, representing Kenya’s interests at the United Nations, unequivocally backed the motion during a recent General Assembly debate and subsequent vote.

In his address, Ambassador Kimani highlighted the principle of self-determination, stating, “We can no more deny others who legitimately seek self-determination than we can deny our very nature as a country fundamentally made from a struggle for independence.”

The United Nations General Assembly’s endorsement of the Palestinian bid to attain full UN membership marks a pivotal moment in the longstanding quest for statehood. 

With 143 member states voting in favour and only nine opposing – including the United States and Israel – the assembly’s decision is a resounding show of global support. Notably, 25 countries opted to abstain from the vote.

In the Eastern Africa region, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Djibouti in favour of the motion.

Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the UN addressing the General Assembly, May 10.

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UN

The General Assembly resolution “determines that the State of Palestine … should therefore be admitted to membership” and it “recommends that the Security Council reconsider the matter favourably”.

Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s ambassador to the UN, made an impassioned plea to the General Assembly before the vote, urging nations to stand for “freedom, justice, and peace in this darkest hour.” 

The resolution, while falling short of granting full UN membership, recommends that the Security Council reconsider Palestine’s status favourably.

Despite the diplomatic strides made in New York, concerns over the ongoing conflict in Gaza echoed within the halls of the United Nations Civil Society Conference in Nairobi.

Civil society groups voiced their collective outrage, demanding an immediate end to the violence that has plagued the region. 

The death toll in Gaza from Israeli attacks since October 7 stands at a staggering 34,904, with tens of thousands wounded. 

In Israel, the toll from Hamas’s retaliatory strikes has reached 1,139, with several individuals still held captive.

Amid chants of solidarity – “In our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians” – Carole Agengo, Co-Chair of the Planning Committee of the 2024 Civil Society Conference, delivered a poignant closing statement.

She stressed the urgent need for action, declaring, “The situation in Palestine requires immediate ceasefire, and indeed, we are all Palestinians.”

Dennis Francis (left), President of the seventy-eighth session of the General Assembly, adopts the resolution.

Photo

UN



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