Thursday, April 17, 2014

UN Acceptance of Palestinian Accession to 15 Treaties Violates International Law



Alan Baker, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Here is the summary of the complete article:
  • On 1 April 2014, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed letters requesting that "the State of Palestine" be granted accession to 15 international conventions and treaties.

  • This action by the Palestinian leadership, and the consequent, hurried acceptance of the Palestinian applications by the UN and by the Swiss government, raise serious questions both regarding the flawed perception as to the very existence and legal status of a sovereign state of "Palestine," as well as to the potential implications of what are serious violations of the Oslo Accords and of the very integrity of the international law of treaties.

  • If the UN and the governments of Switzerland and the Netherlands acted in accordance with their legal and moral duties pursuant to international treaty law and practice, they would have determined that the requests by the Palestinian leadership for accession to the conventions fail to meet the requirements of international law.

  • Statehood can be achieved only in accordance with the accepted international law criteria of a permanent population, a defined territory, government and the capacity to enter into relations with the other states. Pending fulfillment of these criteria, the Palestinians cannot represent themselves as a sovereign state that can accede to international conventions, especially when such conventions specifically condition accession to states only.

  • In 2011 the UN Security Council rejected a Palestinian request for membership, citing disagreements on whether "Palestine" fulfills the requirements set forth in the UN Charter for membership. Nothing has changed since then.

  • All 15 conventions listed in the Palestinian requests for accession require that only states be permitted to accede. By rushing to accept the Palestinian accession requests, the depositories are in fact undermining the very integrity of international treaty law and creating dangerous precedents
Read the whole thing.

On the non-existence of an actual Palestinian state in the face of international law, Baker writes that it is beyond the power of the UN to establish a state or grant statehood -- it can only invite existing states to apply for UN membership.

And that is where the problem begins:
By all accepted international legal and customary criteria, no sovereign Palestinian state exists. Such statehood can be achieved only in accordance with the accepted international law criteria of a permanent population, a defined territory, government and the capacity to enter into relations with the other states.8

Clearly, despite the illusions disseminated by the Palestinian leadership and bought into by the international community, the Palestinians are not yet in any position to indicate a defined territory, which is still subject both to an open conflict with the Hamas terror organization ruling the Gaza Strip, and is still an agreed-upon negotiating issue between the PLO and Israel. Nor can the Palestinian Authority leadership claim to represent the population of the Gaza Strip, which openly rejects its authority and jurisdiction as well as the presidential status and representative authority of Mahmoud Abbas himself. By the same token, the Palestinian leadership cannot thus indicate to the international community any clear and stable form of governance, and any capacity to take upon itself and to observe international obligations, or to represent itself as a “peace-loving state.”
No borders, a leader in the 10th year of a 4 year term, incites hatred of Israel
and uses aid money to pay stipends to terrorists -- what was the UN thinking?
Pending fulfillment of these criteria, it should be clear that the Palestinians cannot represent themselves vis-à-vis the international community as a sovereign state imbued with the capacity to accede to international conventions, especially when such conventions specifically condition signature and accession to them to states only.
So much for upholding the rule of international law.
So much for the UN.


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