Palestinian officials and community members are hoping to influence how the Canadian government votes when an expected proposal for Palestinian statement comes before the United Nations. Canada is not expected to support the proposal, but lobbyists hope to convince the government to at least abstain from the vote, Embassy reports. Earlier this summer, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the recognition of a Palestinian state by the UN would be meaningless and that the only way such a state can be created is through peaceful negotiations with Israel. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly on Sept. 23. The Palestinians have not yet indicated whether they will seek full UN membership as an independent state, or an upgraded status as a non-member observer state. The first option requires the approval of the international body’s 15-member Security Council, where the U.S. is expected to veto any proposal on Palestinian statehood. To obtain an upgraded status as a non-member observer requires a simple majority from the 193-member General Assembly. Such a proposal is expected to easily pass, with or without Canada’s support. Linda Sobeh Ali, a Palestinian envoy in Canada, says she has heard that Canada is doing some lobbying of its own, trying to convince countries like Germany and Italy to vote against the expected Palestinian bid.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011