Dr Daud Abdullah spoke to the Fellows on 23rd November 2011 as part of the Forward Thinking Fellows programme of guest speakers. He spoke in detail about the Palestinian bid for UN membership, highlighting what he saw as the pitfalls of such a route whilst outlining some potentially more fruitful and constructive ways to move forward in the process. He noted the distinction between UN membership and international recognition, citing the example of the People’s Republic of China, who remained outside of the UN until 1971, despite having been present in mainland China since 1949.
A lively discussion followed Dr Abdullah’s talk. This centred on the likely challenges that lie ahead for the Palestinian people and leadership in pursuing the UN initiative and the peace process.