RI to continue supporting Palestine`s UN membership bid

RI to continue supporting Palestine`s  UN membership bid

Marty Natalegawa. (ANTARA)

New York (ANTARA News) - Indonesia will continue to support Palestine`s bid to become a member of the United Nations and keep monitoring developments around it, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said.

Marty made statement here Monday local time (Tuesday, West Indonesia Time) as Palestine continued taking steps to formally apply for UN membership on Friday (Sept 23) despite a US threat to veto it.

"We will seek any opportunity available to ensure that Palestine`s bid for UN membership, if that is what the Palestinians really want, gets international support," he said after meeting with Kazakhstan foreign minister Yerzhan Kazykhanow on the sidelines of a 66th UN General Assembly meeting.

Marty said Indonesia continued lobbying various countries to make them support the Palestinian bid.

"Our efforts are not only at national level but also at international level through the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Non-Aligned Movement and other multilateral organizations . In the meeting with the Kazakhstan foreign minister who holds the OIC chairmanship at foreign ministerial level just now we also said that OIC has so far shown its solidarity with Palestine must continue its relevance in the process of Palestinian membership in the UN," he said.

Marty is scheduled to meet with ministers of the Palestinian Committee at the UN on Thursday (Sept 22 local timee) and ministers of the OIC the next day.

Palestinian foreign minister Mahmud Abbas on Monday met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to convey Palestine`s determination to file an application for full UN membership on Friday.

Based on the UN Charter after receiving the application letter the UN secretary general would study it and send it to the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly.

The application needs to be approved by the Security Council through a resolution and would be passed if it is supported by nine out of 15 members of the Security Council and not vetoed by by one of the Security Council member.

Of the resolution is passed the Security Council would submit recommendation to the UN General Assembly now consisting of 193 member countries. Based on the recommendation the UN General Assembly would then conduct a vote to determine whether the application would be met.

The big problem will emerge at a Security Council level as one of the its members namely the US which is Israel`s strong ally has long before warned that it would use its veto right to stop the Palestinian bid upon a reason that a Palestinian state could be established through negotiations.

Under the US threat Mahmud Abbas had hinted that it was not impossible for his side to change its decision in the last minutes into asking for becoming a non-UN member observer.

Various parties have seen the opportunity for Palestine to become a non-UN member observer as bigger that to become a full UN member.

Abbas will announce the Palestinian choice at his speech at the UN General Assembly on Friday.

"If the issue is taken to the Security Council Palestine needs to secure support from nine Council members as veto may only be used if the votes reach more than nine. So. the first target will be nine of the 15 SC members. After that efforts still have to be taken to prevent a veto," Marty said when asked which choice would be more realistic for Palestine.

"However if it is vetoed, well we will see what it will mean. What is certain is, once again, we have been emphasizing to all parties including the Quarter (mediators for Palestine-Israel peace negotiations namely the US, the UN, the EU and Russia) that the Palestinian step is not unfriendly towards negotiation process but on the other hand is aimed at encouraging the process," he said.

Besides meeting with his counterparts from Kazakhstan and other countries Marty Natalegawa on Monday also attended several main meetings of the UN General Assembly such as a UN high-level meeting on prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and a symposium on international cooperation against terrorism staged by the UN Secretary General.

Marty who was given an opportunity to deliver his speech at the opening of the symposium on counter-terrorism cooperation along with the prime minister of Bangladesh, foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Spain and the US Attorney General has offered four ideas on counter-terrorism efforts.

The first idea is support to global efforts by regional and national efforts. The second idea meawhile is the need for multi-demensional and inter-linked strategies for overcoming the roots of the problem which are also multi-dimensional.

He said the third idea was a long-term strategy and the use of soft power to overcome terrorism effectively. "Fighting terrorism is how to win the hearts and minds. So, we need to strengthen freedom, pluralism and tolerance," he said.

The fourt is, Marty said, the need to keep global, regional and national efforts made within the democratic corridor and with respect to human rights and laws.

At the discussion with mass media at the UN Headquarters on Monday afternoon held by Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) - a task force set up by the UN secretary general - CTITF chief Rober Orr quoted Indonesia as a country that has successfully handled and prevented terrorism through softer methods namely implementing democracy.

Those who spoke at the discussion included Marty Natalegawa, Norway foreign minister Jonas Gahr Store, Interpol general counsel Joel Sollier, coordinator of the Monitoring Team of the Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee Richard Barrett and the director of the Center of Crime Research and UN Inter-Regional Law (UNICRI), Jonathan Lucas.

Replying a question at the forum Marty said Indonesia in its effort to fight terrorism had only only made cooperation initivatives with other countries but also applied methods which are more democratic and sustainable including law enforcement and promoting tolerance.

At the high-level meetings of NCDs, Marty who spoke on behalf of Indonesia as well as ASEAN said strong political commetment was needed from the international community with regard to joint efforts to overcome non-communicable diseases.

He said according to WHO report in 2010 the death rate from non-communicable diseases reached 36.1 million in 2008 and was predicted to increase by 17 percent in the next decade.

In Southeast Asia the rate is feared to have increased from 2.6 million to 4.2 million.

Marty said right now the Association of Southeast Asia (ASEAN) is emphasizing on four measures to suppress the diseases namely strengthening the health system and infrastructure, national policies on health sector, accelerating various programs to control cigarette industry, strengthening partnership in the health sector and assuring the involvement and cooperation of all stakeholders.

Nationally, Indonesia is prioritizing on efforts to suppress factors that cause the diseases such as cigarette smoking, drinking, unhealthy eating habit and lack of physical actibities.

The NCDs meeting was also attended by Indonesian health minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih and presidential special envoy for MDGs Nila Moeloek.