Talk:United Nations General Assembly observers

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I looked on the official UN website and it said that all of the following countries are not members of the United Nations:




British Virgin Islands

Cayman Islands

Cook Islands

French Polynesia


Netherlands Antilles

New Caledonia

Occupied Palestinian Territory

Puerto Rico

Turks and Caicos Islands


My question, is why these countries are not members. I have looked and looked all over the internet and cannot figure out why!?! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:14, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

===>No worries These territories are mostly dependencies, so their interests are represented by member states. The occupied Palestinian territory is on this list, as the Palestinian National Authority. Zanzibar used to be independent, but chose by referendum to merge with Tanganyika to become Tanzania. -Justin (koavf), talk 00:44, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

another reason: it's too expansive especially for SIDS; you have to pay for being a member of the UN. --Dirk | <°°> 14:16, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Puerto Rico is part of the United States, so why would they be a member of the UN? (talk) 02:06, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Isn't the Turkish Community of Cyprus reprsented by an observer? Ybgursey 05:47, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I think that is the UN that is present in the Turkish Community, and not just with one observer!!!

These aren't States, so they lack at least the second quality to be member states

Where on the official UN site is this list located? Alinor (talk) 10:56, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

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Updated list[edit]

Here [1] is an update of the list as of January 2010 (includes new observers admitted in 2009) including information on former designations and the UNGA resolutions for admission/change of name. Alinor (talk) 06:02, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

South Sudan[edit]

If Southern Sudan succedes from Sudan will it be an observer in the UN? Spongie555 (talk) 04:55, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Sure It can apply for membership or observership or neither. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 05:26, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Bhutan - former observer?[edit]

The book currently utilized as source for the list of former observer states doesn't mention Bhutan. But we have the following sources mentioning it:

  • [2] - "Bhutan applied for United Nations membership and attended its General Assembly in 1970 as observer. Thereafter, with the support of India, Bhutan became the UN member on 21 September 1971."
  • [3] - "In 1965, King Dorji set up Royal Advisory Council and the Cabinet came into being in 1968. Since then, Bhutan gained an observer status in the United Nations. Finally, in 1971, it was admitted to the United Nations."
  • History of Bhutan[source: Worden, Robert L. "Modernization under Jigme Dorji, 1952-72". In Savada.] - "In 1971, after holding observer status for three years, Bhutan was admitted to the UN."

Could somebody check in 1967/68/69/70/71 resolutions and what's mentioned there about Bhutan? Alinor (talk) 09:58, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, I looked around when I was drafting up that table but I found no evidence of Bhutan's observer status in any documents besides those (UN or otherwise), and I specifically found references to there only ever being seventeen observer states. You'll note also that the Permanent Mission of Bhutan's website has no information about this observer status on the page which details the history of Bhutan and the UN [4].
This is purely speculation but my impression is that "attended its General Assembly in 1970 as observer" doesn't actually mean "was granted observer status" but rather something like "went to visit the UN one time". Then through a broken telephone type of thing, this fact somehow got conflated with the date of the Cabinet in 1968 and suddenly Bhutan was an observe state for three years.
In any case I think we should stick with the current list since we have the "seventeen" number from a UN page and the list from that source which has exactly seventeen states in it. Orange Tuesday (talk) 12:38, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
OK. This is one more example where seemingly reliable sources can be misleading and/or incorrect. Alinor (talk) 07:47, 16 May 2011 (UTC)


Spain in the list should link to Francoist Spain rather than Spain. I do not know how to amend this. LukeSurl t c 19:00, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

by whom?[edit]

By whom - by the UNGA (that's what this article is about), by the international community, by the UNSG, etc. Japinderum (talk) 15:47, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Ah, sorry that was a vague tag, not a by whom tag. Vague word replaced with a word utilized in the source. Japinderum (talk) 15:50, 1 December 2012 (UTC)


Regarding this Mor2 edit: "per resolution 43/177 , if there was a change in status please update appropriate resolution in list)" that changed " State of Palestine" into "Palestine".

I understand that it can be argued that the UN observer is still the PLO, whose designation changed to "Palestine" in 1988, to whom observer state status was accorded in 2012, and then its designation was changed to "State of Palestine" in 2012[5]:

  • 1988 43/177 resolution: is "without prejudice to the observer status and functions of the Palestine Liberation Organization within the United Nations system"
  • 2012 67/19 resolution: is "without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the United Nations as the representative of the Palestinian people, in accordance with the relevant resolutions and practice"
  • Offical UN protocol blue book listing the Permanent Observers Missions is structured in the following way: section I member states (pages with "Permanent Missions" footer); section II non-member states has two pages - "Holy See" ("Permanent Observer Missions" footer), "State of Palestine" ("Entities" footer); section III Intergovernmental organizations (footer "Intergovernmental organizations"; etc.
  • [6] "No amendment should be made to references to the PLO, which remains Palestinians' legal representative on the world stage"

If that's the claim of Mor2, then the text should be "Palestine Liberation Organization" from the status quo before 2012-11-29 [7] and not a new hidden WP:EGG wikilink. Also, we list the observers, not their short designations - and even if were to list "alternative" designations there's no reason to use the 1988 instead of the 2012 one. Japinderum (talk) 12:47, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

See [8]. Japinderum (talk) 07:51, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Oops, I didn't see this discussion before I reverted to "State of Palestine". However, the point remains: the UN lists the Observer as "State of Palestine" so we should as well. All of the above is WP:OR. TDL (talk) 19:34, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
The question is not how the delegate is named within the UN system, but who is it. Just as before it was named Palestine and linked to Palestine Liberation Organization. --Mor2 (talk) 20:32, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Correct, but the UN says that the delegation is the "State of Palestine". If you have sources that say that this is simply a name for the PLO then we can change it. But in the absence of sources, we can only assume that when they say "State of Palestine" they are referring to the State of Palestine. TDL (talk) 01:17, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
As far as I know according to the agreements the Palestinians signed, the PLO is the only Palestinian body that is allowed to represent them, but this is a little WP:ORish so I don't mind to wait for a source on this point.--Mor2 (talk) 16:04, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
I doubt you'll find many more sources other than those listed above (but you can check in Oslo Accords). The last bullet/source above basically states the same thing "PLO, which remains Palestinians' legal representative on the world stage". Japinderum (talk) 05:45, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Basically, we're in the same situation as with the "Member states of ESCWA are ...., Palestine, ...." where many efforts were required to show that that "Palestine" is actually the PLO. But that was when "Palestine" was in the official "non-state observers" list. Now, if the above sources are not deemed enough we would need some deep legal analysis about who's the UN observer and I'm not aware of such source so far. Japinderum (talk) 06:02, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Status update[edit]

Regarding this edit [9]

This article is about 'United Nations General Assembly observers' not the Palestinian Non-member statehood, something that is little murky in the scope of the 'Additional timeline and details' column. The latest entry not only adds nothing to(both topic and Palestinian case), but is also a repetition of the 1994 entry, stating that nothing has changed, this status check should be removed.--Mor2 (talk) 20:44, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Agreed, this doesn't have any relevance to the topic at hand so it's better to not mention it than to oversimplify the situation. TDL (talk) 01:08, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
What do you mean "the Palestinian Non-member statehood"? There is no "member statehood", "non-member statehood" or anything like that.
About removing the last entry - having the 2012 entry (and "State of Palestine" in the UN observers list - instead of "PLO") after the 1994 entry necessitates adding the "as of 2013 it's occupied". The occupation is one of the most important issues in this case, dozens of UN resolutions are devoted to it, foreign intervention is one of the main issues in the UN Charter, etc. It's entirely appropriate, highly relevant and notable for the "Additional details" column of a UN observer. Japinderum (talk) 08:57, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
How does the 2012 entry necessitate the note? Surely you don't think so little of our readers that you presume they'll have forgotten everything they read 50 words earlier. By your logic we need another entry saying: "As of 2013 Palestine is still a non-member observer state" in case anyone had forgotten. Obviously no one is questioning the significance of the dispute in the middle east, but what's the relevance of this to Palestine's status as an observer at the UN? You're going WP:OFFTOPIC once again... TDL (talk) 11:05, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Being the sole exception of UN member or observer state without control over its territory necessitates it. To a reader not aware of the details, the timeline implies that since 2012 whatever issues there were are resolved and SoP is a full fledged UN observer and full fledged state like Switzerland. That's why its territory being occupied should be mentioned. And also, the 1994 bullet is nowhere near a duplicate of the last entry. Japinderum (talk) 06:08, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
How on earth does being granted non-member state status imply that they resolved their issues with Israel? Does North Korea's UN membership imply to you that "whatever issues there were are resolved"? And again, what's the relevance of this to Palestine's status as a "United Nations General Assembly observers", you know the topic of the article? TDL (talk) 21:06, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
It's relevance is in being the sole exception in such situation. And that's also why readers can be confused its major issue (OK, not "all" issues, but the major ones or at least the Israel occupation of all of their territories) is resolved - nobody so far has been granted UN member or observer status while under foreign occupation. Japinderum (talk) 09:56, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Source please? I could make a case that the many states, such as the Soviet states (Belarus and Ukraine), other eastern bloc states (Poland and Hungary), the Philippines and India were all under foreign control when they joined the UN. TDL (talk) 17:54, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm pretty well aware of the cases you mention, but these aren't cases of foreign occupation - their governments (of those who were admitted as UN members) were part of the "bigger" entities (USSR, USA, UK). The SoP government is not institutionally linked to Israel in any way, on the contrary. Poland and Hungary also have nothing in common - there USSR influenced (or outright directed) actions of Poland and Hungary governments. Israel does not direct SoP government. If SoP was a puppet Israeli creation (like the Village Leagues), then your examples would've been relevant. Japinderum (talk) 08:11, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
I never said they were all cases of foreign occupation, but they clearly all had "major issues" when joining. In the case of Hungary, RS state that they were occupied when they became a member: [10] [11]. Do you have any sources that say "nobody so far has been granted UN member or observer status while under foreign occupation"? TDL (talk) 16:57, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
But Hungary government which joined the UN was not some "Hungary Liberation Anti-Soviet Anti-Occupation" freedom fighters group - it was the Soviet-supported government.
That only comes to support the notion that such "major issues" should mentioned in the "additional details" column. Japinderum (talk) 07:30, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I never said they were freedom fighters. You said: "nobody so far has been granted UN member or observer status while under foreign occupation". I simply demonstrated that this was incorrect. Again, why does this belong in a timeline of Palestine's relationship with the UN? TDL (talk) 20:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
It belongs in the "Additional details" column as the major issue about the State of Palestine (and central point of dozens of UN discussions, resolutions and other acts including the UNSC SoP membership report) and as the unique situation of "nobody so far has been granted UN member or observer status while resisting foreign occupation of its whole territory" (to paraphrase a bit). Japinderum (talk) 09:18, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
"nobody so far has been granted UN member or observer status while resisting foreign occupation of its whole territory" - source please? TDL (talk) 17:58, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
That quote is an explanation on a talk page, not content I propose adding to the article. Do you think it's not unique? Japinderum (talk) 07:29, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
This article has nothing todo with issues related to State of Palestine, only UNGA observers and their status. Since there has been no change in this regard since two lines above, there is no reason to add it. (Other than the relevancy issue, you still haven't provide a source for any of your statement).--Mor2 (talk) 18:42, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
It has to do with SoP issues, because SoP as UN observer has an entry in one of the article's tables. If SoP is replaced with PLO on that line (as you suggested), then you may be correct. Two lines above is before SoP getting observer status. And you can see in the discussion here what's the relevance of that. As for the source - the line we discuss is "As of 2013 the territory it claims is still controlled by Israel" and there are plenty of sources for that both in the references/footnotes and in the wikilinked articles. Which part of that line do you think is not true? Japinderum (talk) 06:32, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It's irrelevant to its status as a UN observer, which is the scope of this article. You attempted to justify it by claiming that "nobody so far has been granted UN member or observer status while resisting foreign occupation of its whole territory", but you can't even back this up with sources. TDL (talk) 09:41, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Talk pages are not to be backed up with sources and I asked you - do you think that statement isn't true? I also explained that "It belongs in the "Additional details" column as the major issue about the State of Palestine (...)". Japinderum (talk) 06:36, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

former observers order[edit]

There are two Germany, two Korea and three Vietnam. I think each set should be grouped together, e.g. the list should be ordered according to 'G', 'K', 'V' instead of 'F' ("Federal ..."), 'D' ("Democratic ..."), 'R' ("Republic ..."), etc. Japinderum (talk) 10:41, 20 January 2013 (UTC)


Regarding [12] - do we have sources for 1952 (South), 1975 (North), 1976 (Socialist) observer statuses resolutions? Or in 1976 North Vietnam changed it's name from "Democratic" to "Socialist" and retained its 1975 observer status? Japinderum (talk) 09:47, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Change title to UN Non-members[edit]

This article deals with non-members of the UN, including observers (Holy See, Palestine), recognised non-members (Cook Islands and Niue) and refers readers to non-recognised states (i.e. overseas territories, crown colonies and dependant territories), and to territories that are not recognised.

The title is misleadingly narrow. There is no article 'UN Non-members' and if one reads the main UN Members article Member_states_of_the_United_Nations and looks at the section: Member_states_of_the_United_Nations#Observers_and_non-members#Observers_and_non-members, the user is directed to this article.

Thus, rather than adding another separate article for Non-members states, I propose the title of this article should be changed to 'Non-member states recognised by the United Nations'. No change in the content would be necessary as the current content is relevant (indeed, more relevant, to that title), and the old title would redirect here.

Amarantus (talk) 20:23, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

But we have this lengthy list of organisations that are UN observers that are not states, so I oppose such a change. Something should be done, nevertheless. --\color{Blue}\mathcal{M}\color{Blue}\vec{( e\ ,}\color{Blue}t ) = ? 13:56, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree that there is a lengthy list of UN observers other than states. So, either the article title is changed to include both 'Non-member states and Observers', else a separate article is created for 'UN Non-member states'. I suppose a separate article would be clearer and thus more appropriate.

If there is a separate article, it should include brief reference to other territories that are not members but are partially-recognised as sovereign states (those listed at List_of_sovereign_states.

It should also explain briefly, other 'countries' that aren't included: (self-governing dependent territories such as Bermuda; Crown Dependencies such as Isle of Man that aren't sovereign but are dependencies of the Crown (currently represented by Queen Elizabeth II) but aren't part of another state; non self-governing territories such as Guam; and territories with special arrangements such as New Caledonia; and overseas territories that are an integral (though overseas) part of sovereign state such as Réunion Island>France, Bonaire>Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and Netherlands>Kingdom of the Netherlands, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Denmark>Kingdom of Denmark.)

I will draft a page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amarantus (talkcontribs) 16:08, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

This article was not created to include non-un member states. It was specifically created to include only states and organizations with observer status. Niue and Cook Islands are not observers and should be removed.XavierGreen (talk) 15:39, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
I guess I wasn't really paying attention - Amarantus, are you trying to make this article a duplicate of List of states with limited recognition? And mesh it up with Dependent territory? Well, no need for that, really. This article is about UN observers, and what you want to add to it is covered in these two other articles. Hope this is understandable. --\color{Blue}\mathcal{M}\color{Blue}\vec{( e\ ,}\color{Blue}t ) = ? 21:01, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

New Template[edit]

There is now a template for the number of non-member observer states, if anyone would be in need of such: Template:UNobs. --\color{Blue}\mathcal{M}\color{Blue}\vec{( e\ ,}\color{Blue}t ) 13:27, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Date format[edit]

The article originally used day-month-year format. For over two years this was the established format until Koavf arbitrarily changed it. Currently we've got a mix of dmy, mdy & ymd. I'm changing it back. Jimp 09:38, 27 May 2014 (UTC)