Sunday, September 2, 2012

U.N. Recognition of Palestinian Statehood and Children

The Potential Impact on Their Welfare

By Nadia I. Arginteanu
Nadia Arginteanu, a third year student at Albany Law School, is Editor-in-Chief of the Albany Law Journal of Science & Technology. She is a graduate of Bard College where she majored in political science. She will graduate from Albany Law School in May 2013 with a concentration in International Law.
This paper was prepared for Professor Harrington's course, International Child Rights, Spring 2012.
Undoubtedly, one of the most difficult issues that the international community has had to deal with is the question of Palestine. The Arab-Israel conflict over Palestine is nearly intractable and has been a major point of debate and contention for decades.

The military and political conflict that has taken hold of the region has caused a great deal of suffering for the children living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (“OPT”) comprised of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Children in these regions are not only hurt by the violence of warfare, but due to the political turmoil of the region are often denied the fundamental rights that the international community has recognized all children should be afforded, such as education and healthcare.

Though the political status of Palestine has been at a standstill for many years, recently, steps have been made by the current political leadership of Palestine, the Palestinian Authority, to change Palestine’s status both in the United Nations and in the international community as a whole. For example, in October 2011 the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (“UNESCO”) recognized Palestine as a full member state. Recognition of Palestine by UNESCO was controversial, but not as controversial as the recent bid on September 23, 2011 by the Palestinian Authority to gain full membership in the United Nations during the 2011 session of the United Nations General Assembly.

This paper will argue that if the United Nations were to recognize Palestinian statehood and admit it as a full member state, or at the very least elevate Palestine to the status of a non-member state observer, either of these changes would have a positive impact on the lives of Palestinian children. Changing the political status of Palestine would change the status of Palestinian children, affording these children increased rights and protections under international law.*
* Citations to references in this introduction are available in the paper.
To read the entire paper, open HERE.