As you may already know, Palestine has been granted observer state status yesterday by the UN General Assembly. For those who don’t know, this is a big deal as it is de-facto declaration on behalf of the world’s nations that the state of Palestine does in fact exist.
138 nations voted for elevating Palestine status, 41 abstained and only 9 opposed. Of those 9 only Canada and the US were major powers. France, Spain and Italy all voted yes. Germany and Britain avoided getting into the fuss and abstained instead.
So, understandably, the US, Israel and Canada would stick together. Why though, did the Pacific’s tiny island states with a combined population less than a major city, vote no?
Well, in a Civilization-like move (the god game, not actual civilization) the US and these countries have an agreement on military, foreign policy and economic issues. The US provides these tiny states with funding and special services such as emergency response, in addition to of course protecting these nations (some of which, like Nauru, have less than 10K inhabitants and is just 21 square kilometers in size).
Read up more on wikipedia
A Compact of Free Association (COFA) defines the relationship that each of three sovereign states—the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the Republic of Palau—have entered into as associated states with the United States.
Now sovereign nations, the three freely associated states were formerly part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, a United Nations trusteeship administered by the United States Navy from 1947 to 1951 and by the United States Department of the Interior from 1951 to 1986 (to 1994 for Palau). Under the COFA relationship, the United States provides guaranteed financial assistance over a 15-year period administered through the Office of Insular Affairs in exchange for full international defense authority and responsibilities.
Special thanks to Tres for pointing that out