The UN General Assembly (UNGA) overwhelmingly approved a resolution to give the state of Palestine more rights as the new chair of the Group of 77 (G77) developing nations, the UN press office said in a statement.

“The General Assembly decided today to provide additional rights and privileges of participation to the State of Palestine when it assumes its position as chair of the ‘Group of 77’ developing nations,” the release said on Tuesday. “The Assembly set out those terms in a resolution (document A/73/L.5) adopted by a recorded vote of 146 in favor to 3 against (Australia, Israel, United States), with 15 abstentions.”

The new authorities include the right to make statements, submit proposals and introduce them on behalf of the G77, among others, the release added.

Representatives of Israel and the United States took the floor at the UNGA before the vote and voiced their opposition to the resolution, according to the release.

In 2012, the General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine when it upgraded the Palestinian Authority’s U.N. observer status to non-member state – like the Vatican – from entity.

The status upgrade has allowed them to participate in some General Assembly votes and join some international bodies.

However, as a non-member state the Palestinians cannot speak in meetings until after member states, diplomats said.

The Egyptian-drafted resolution allows them to procedurally operate like a member state when acting on behalf of the G77 and China – making statements, submitting and co-sponsoring proposals and amendments, giving rights of reply and raising points of order.

Contributed by Israel Today