Daily Israel Report

PA Blocked from Sneaky Statehood Ploy at UN Climate Conference

A slick attempt by the Palestinian Authority to gain statehood at a UN conference on climate change is stymied by the US and Israel.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 12/11/2011, 2:20 PM

A slick little attempt by the Palestinian Authority to gain statehood recognition -- at least on paper -- in a listing at a United Nations convention on climate change was stymied over the weekend by the United States and Israel.

Israeli envoys to the conference, held in Durban, South Africa, discovered upon their arrival that the PA delegation had been listed on the Saturday program as representing the State of Palestine, rather than that of an observer entity.

The diplomats immediately informed Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan and the Foreign Ministry, who took steps to have the error corrected, according to a report in the Sunday edition of the Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharanot.

U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern, meanwhile, informed the United Nations staff that America would yank its funding from the U.N. climate change initiative if the listing were not changed.

Joining in the effort, delegates from Australia and Canada warned that they, too, would submit letters of complaint to U.S. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Within hours, the listing was revised.

Negotiators at the conference itself, meanwhile, approved a package of agreements to combat global climate change -- minutely incremental compared to what observers said should have been accomplished.