28 Nov 2012

NZ 'won't vote against' Palestinian upgrade at UN

5:06 pm on 28 November 2012

Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand will not vote against upgrading the Palestinians' position at the United Nations General Assembly.

A vote will be held on Wednesday on upgrading the Palestinians' status from observer entity to non-member observer state, which would boost its bid for recognition as a sovereign state.

Mr Key says the Cabinet has not yet decided whether to support or abstain from a vote on the matter, but it certainly won't be a no. He says some ministers want an opportunity to discuss the matter further.

The Palestinians are frustrated that their bid for full UN membership in 2011was thwarted by the United States in the Security Council.

Their latest, watered-down bid would give them similar status to the Vatican.

If, as expected, the vote is passed, the Palestinians will be able to join in UN debates and could join a variety of UN institutions.