A year after failing to win United Nations recognition as an independent state, the Palestinian Authority achieved what is perhaps a largely symbolic though notable status change on Thursday by way of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
The body decided that their “non-member observer entity” status should instead be “non-member observer state,” similar to the Vatican, giving Palestinians a certain implicit degree of statehood recognition.
The following answers a list of frequently asked questions that may help clarify this relatively unique scenario.
What is the Palestinians’ former status at the U.N.?
The Palestinians had had “permanent observer” status at the U.N. since 1974, when the Palestine Liberation Organization was recognized as an observer, a position which is not defined in the U.N.’s charter.
The mission, which subsequently became officially referred to as “Palestine” within the U.N. system, was in 1998 granted privileges that had previously been held only by member states. These included the rights to participate in general debate at the start of the General Assembly and to co-sponsor resolutions, giving the delegation a unique status, somewhere between observer and member.
Written By: Tim Hume and Ashley Fantzcontinue to source article at cnn.com