Sierra Leone Statement at the UN General Assembly – on Palestine’s Application for UN Membership


Mr. President, 

Thank you for convening this important discussion under agenda “item 63 the Use of the Veto” as requested in resolution 76/262 of 2022 following the exercise of the Veto by a Permanent Member in the Security Council. 

We believe that this debate provides Member States with a valuable opportunity to consider the impact of the Veto on the functioning and effectiveness of the Security Council in fulfilling its mandate, and as it relates to the lives and livelihoods of persons and the relevant country situations. 

At the meeting held on the 18th April 2024 in the Security Council to consider the draft resolution proposed by Algeria under the agenda item “Admission of New Members”, Sierra Leone voted in favour of the draft resolution in support of the aspirations of the Palestinian people and also for their inalienable rights to self-determination and statehood.

During the high-level open debate on the Middle East- Palestine Question held on the same day, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, elaborated on our position on the issue, that is, in the context of the request for the Admission of the State of Palestine as a Member of the United Nations, thirteen (13) years after the Security Council’s Admission Committee first considered Palestine’s application.

Sierra Leone, he said, recognizes the basis for such a request, which in our view is legitimate and could create the pathway to a political horizon, founded on the principles of the ‘two-state solution’ based on the United Nations General Assembly resolution 181(ii) which recommends for an independent Arab and an independent Jewish State, and is in line with Article 4 of the UN Charter, as well as the guidance provided by the International Court of Justice in its 28th May 1948 advisory opinion on Conditions of Admission of a State to Membership in the United Nations.

We regret that the draft resolution was not adopted. We are of the firm view that membership of Palestine would have better supported the establishment of effective governance and peace and security systems and norms in Palestine in line with the United Nation’s normative values of trust, coalition building and cooperation, and ultimately advanced the ‘two-state’ solution.

The State of Palestine’s membership at in the UN may have been delayed, but it cannot be denied, “the arc of the moral universe may be long, but it bends towards justice”.

In the context of the ongoing conflict, Sierra Leone acknowledges with deep concern the devastation Palestinians and Israelis continue to suffer since the 7thOctober 2023 unjustifiable heinous attack by Hamas on Israeli civilians, and therefore urges parties to the conflict to be considerate in their engagement during this phase of negotiations to ensure the brokering. 

Mr. President,

There is no gainsaying that the UNSC needs to be reformed to reflect present day geopolitical realities. The question of the veto is one of the five clusters of the ongoing reform discussion in the informal plenary of the General Assembly and it is our fervent hope, that Member States will come to an agreement on whether to abolish the veto or to drastically curtail its use.

I thank you.

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