State of Palestine News: Ireland, Norway and Spain have announced recognition of Palestine as a separate country!


The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States sets four criteria for a state: a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. According to The Cambridge Companion to International Law, granting statehood to a territory has long been a central organizing idea in the international system. Many territories and people have sought to declare themselves independent states over the years. But their formal recognition depends on how the rest of the world views them.


The UN also has broad criteria for accepting countries as members. Article 4 of the UN Charter states that membership in the UN is open to all peace-loving countries that are able and willing to fulfill the obligations contained in the Charter, the decisions of the Organization and to carry out these obligations.

Talking about the process of recognition of a region as a separate country by the United Nations is done by a two-thirds majority in the United Nations General Assembly. However, the UNGA conducts voting only on the recommendation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The UNSC has five permanent members namely America, Britain, Russia, China, and France. 10 temporary members are elected in turn. Voting takes place to pass the UNSC recommendation. In this, at least nine members should be in its favor and no permanent member should use his veto. Only the five permanent members directly decide the future of any issue.

What is the current status of Palestine in the United Nations?

Currently, Palestine is not a member state of the United Nations but a permanent observer state. Another permanent observer state in the United Nations is the Holy See. The Holy See represents the country in Vatican City. As a permanent observer state, Palestine is allowed to participate in all proceedings of the organization, from the Security Council to the General Assembly and its six main committees. However, it is not allowed to vote on draft resolutions and decisions in its main organs and bodies.

Palestine was recognized as a non-member permanent observer country in the year 2012. Earlier, Palestine was an observer country in the United Nations. Palestine tried to get membership in the United Nations as a country in April 2024 but was vetoed by the US.

How many countries have recognized Palestine so far?

Before the announcement by Norway, Ireland, and Spain, 143 out of 193 members of the United Nations had already recognized Palestine as a country. Most of these countries are Asian, African, and South American countries. India recognized Palestine as a separate country in 1988.

In 1947, the United Nations Partition Plan, UNGA Resolution 181(II), proposed the establishment of a Jewish state, Israel, and an Arab state, Palestine. Under this, Jerusalem was to be administered by the United Nations as a corpus separatum i.e. a separate entity. This proposal is also known as the 'two-country solution'.

Section F of this proposal states that if any country becomes independent according to the plan, then its application for membership in the United Nations should be considered sympathetically. However, Palestinian leaders rejected this plan. They believed that it was against Arab interests. A few days after this, the Arab-Israeli war broke out. Israel won this war. Then in 1949, Israel presented a membership proposal to the United Nations. Britain was absent in its voting while all other permanent countries did not use the veto. In this way, Israel became a member of the United Nations.

What is the significance of this Norway-Ireland-Spain move?

When a country recognizes another territory as a country, it usually establishes an embassy and appoints diplomatic officials there. Norway's foreign minister has said that the representative office it opened in the West Bank in 1999 will be upgraded to an embassy. 

This move by the three European countries also symbolizes a rift in the support that Western countries are giving Israel in the Gaza war. The US and Britain have also talked about an independent Palestine but they have said that this should be possible only through negotiations with Israel.

Many European countries say that they will recognize Palestine only as part of a long-term political solution to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The recent announcement of recognition of Palestine by three European countries will put pressure on other European countries including Britain, France, and Germany to support Palestine.