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The strange story of the “conditional” admission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations

On 10 May 2024, the General Assembly (GA) adopted by an overwhelming majority Resolution ES-10/23 on the admission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations. The resolution does not pronounce the admission. After determining in point 1 of the operative part that the State of Palestine meets the requirements for admission under Article 4(1) of the Charter, the GA “recommends that the Security Council (SC) reconsider the matter favourably, in the light of this determination and of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 28 May 1948, and in strict conformity with Article 4 of the Charter” (para 2). Under Article 4(2) of the Charter, the power to admit a new State is a prerogative of the GA, but on a recommendation from the SC. The reasons for this apparent procedural reversal can be easily explained in light of various references in the resolution. On 18 April 2024, a draft SC resolution recommending the admission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations (S/2024/312) was not adopted. It…

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The Story of a General Assembly Resolution, the Weaponizing of Genocide, and the Bizarre

This post is a story of the bizarre. Its, perhaps unlikely, subject is the adoption of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution (A/78/L.67/Rev.1), which established 11 July as the International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica. As its name indicates, the resolution was meant to commemorate the victims…

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Clock’s Ticking: What Does International Law Have to Do with the UN’s Liquidity Crisis?

The United Nations is facing one of the worst liquidity crises. It has temporarily closed some of its offices, including its Geneva headquarters, twice since last December. The Secretary-General has already made an appeal to the Member States earlier this year. The Fifth Committee faces a significant challenge in…

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Resolution 2728 (2024) is a Binding Council Resolution

Resolution 2728 (2024) has legally binding effect. Eran Sthoeger makes the claim that the Security Council’s resolution 2728, which demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, is “not legally binding”. This conclusion, he asseverates, follows from “a sound understanding of the practice of the Security Council under the Charter”. The true position is that the…

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Resolution 2728 on Israel/Gaza is Significant, But it Is Not a Binding Council Decision

Resolution 2728 on the situation in Gaza is not legally binding. This conclusion is not counterintuitive or surprising. Rather it is the result of a sound understanding of the practice of the Security Council under the Charter. It also flows from the views of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), as articulated in the Namibia and Kosovo Advisory…

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