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UN General Assembly - Tenth Emergency Special Session: Illegal Israeli Actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the Rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory - explanation of vote

International relations

As delivered.

Statement by H.E. Mr James Larsen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations

Mr President

Australia welcomes this resolution’s “unwavering support for the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders.”

This is a clear rejection of the goals and methods of Hamas.

A two-state solution - Israel and Palestine - is the opposite of what Hamas wants.

We condemn Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel and call for the immediate release of all hostages.

Australia has long believed a two-state solution offers the only hope for breaking the endless cycle of violence and achieving lasting peace.

Like many Member States, Australia has been frustrated by the lack of progress.

There is a role for the international community to build momentum,

set expectations that parties resume negotiations for tangible progress,

and to support efforts for a political process.

The resolution does not provide membership of the United Nations, and retains the status of the Permanent Observer Mission with a modest extension of additional rights.

We appreciated our engagement with Member States and the Palestinian Observer Mission to ensure this was clear.

The resolution expresses the General Assembly’s aspiration for full Palestinian membership of the UN,

something which must ultimately be recommended by the Security Council, consistent with the Charter.

While this resolution is not what we would propose, it is for all these reasons that Australia voted yes.

Like many other countries, our vote for this resolution is not bilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Nevertheless, Australia no longer accepts that recognition can only come at the end of the peace process.

We have been clear there is no role for Hamas in a future Palestinian state.

Such a state cannot be in a position to threaten Israel’s security.

Reform of the Palestinian Authority is required, and direct negotiations will be needed on final status issues, including Jerusalem and borders.

We have listened to Israel’s concerns.

Australia will always remain committed to Israel’s right to exist in peace and security.

We believe a two state-solution is the only way to assure this.

We know this vote won’t resolve the immediate crisis.

A humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza is needed urgently, the catastrophic humanitarian situation must be addressed and Hamas must release all hostages.

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