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Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Page: 9867

Senator MILNE (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (15:41): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that Palestinian representatives have indicated that on 29 November 2012 they will be introducing a resolution to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to recognise Palestine as a non member state of the UN; and

(b) calls on the Australian Government to support Palestine in being granted non member state observer status at the UN.

I seek leave to speak on this motion for one minute.

Leave granted.

Senator MILNE: This is a very important motion before the Senate today. As I said, on 29 November there will be a vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the recognition of Palestine as a non-member state observer in the United Nations. This would provide Palestine with the same status as the Vatican and would enhance the legal rights of Palestine. It is a compromise position. Australia, with an increased leadership role as part of the Security Council, ought in my view to join the overwhelming majority of the rest of the world in supporting this move to enhance the legal rights of Palestine. I note that today the government has moved in its position, now saying that it will abstain from the vote. While the United States and Israel will oppose the non-member state observer status, Australia will now be abstaining. (Time expired)