Australia, as a newly elected member of the UN Security Council and a country which ostensibly supports a peaceful two-state solution, should vote for recognition of Palestine as a non-member state observer at the United Nations this week, rather than abstaining.
Senator Milne moved a motion in the Senate today which was opposed by both the Government and Opposition, following the announcement earlier today that Australia will abstain from the vote.
"Recognising Palestine as a non-member state observer at the United Nations would be an important peaceful step towards a peaceful, two-state solution in the Middle East, an aim the Government says they support," Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
"Now that we have been elected to the Security Council, it is important that Australia stands up with an independent foreign policy, but this first major decision since our elevation does not bode well.
"The Greens have condemned violence on both sides and supported the ceasefire. It is time for real steps towards a lasting, peaceful solution."
Both the Government and Opposition today voted against the following motion moved by Senator Milne:
1. notes that Palestinian representatives have indicated that on the 29th of November this year they will be introducing a resolution to the United Nations General Assembly to recognise Palestine as a non-member state of the United Nations; and
2. calls on the Australian Government to support Palestine in being granted non-member state observer status at the United Nations.