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State of Palestine News: Why did Norway, Ireland and Spain recognize Palestine as a separate country? What difference will this make

Israel Palestinians Spain 18 171Palestinian state News: European countries Norway, Ireland and Spain have announced to recognize Palestine as a country. Norway was the first to announce this on Wednesday, May 22. Soon after this, Ireland and Spain also announced to recognize Palestine as a country. This decision of the three countries is also important because this is the first time that a Western European country has announced to recognize Palestine as a country. 

In such a situation, it becomes important to know what is meant by a country? What is the current status of Palestine? How does the world view Palestine? What is the meaning of this decision of the three European countries? What difference does it make to recognize a region as a country?

What does it mean to be recognised as a separate country?

The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States sets four criteria for a state: a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. According to The Cambridge Companion to International Law, granting statehood to a territory has long been a central organizing idea in the international system. Many territories and people have sought to declare themselves independent states over the years. But their formal recognition depends on how the rest of the world views them.

The UN also has a broad criteria for accepting countries as members. Article 4 of the UN Charter states that membership in the UN is open to all peace-loving countries that are able and willing to fulfill the obligations contained in the Charter, the decisions of the Organization and to carry out these obligations.

Talking about the process of recognition of a region as a separate country by the United Nations, it is done by a two-thirds majority in the United Nations General Assembly. However, the UNGA conducts voting only on the recommendation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The UNSC has five permanent members namely America, Britain, Russia, China and France. While there are 10 temporary members who are elected in turn. Voting takes place to pass the UNSC recommendation. In this, at least nine members should be in its favour and no permanent member should use his veto. Only the five permanent members directly decide the future of any issue.

What is the current status of Palestine in the United Nations?

Currently, Palestine is not a member state of the United Nations but a permanent observer state. Another permanent observer state in the United Nations is the Holy See. The Holy See represents the country in Vatican City. As a permanent observer state, Palestine is allowed to participate in all proceedings of the organization, from the Security Council to the General Assembly and its six main committees. However, it is not allowed to vote on draft resolutions and decisions in its main organs and bodies.