U.N. Headquarters to Fly Palestinian Flag After General Assembly Vote
The U.N. General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to fly Palestine’s flag at the U.N. headquarters in New York in a move that has infuriated Israel and that Palestinians described as a step toward full U.N. membership. One hundred nineteen of 193 U.N. member states approved the resolution.
From The Guardian:
The US and Israel were among eight countries that voted against the Palestinian-drafted resolution, which says the flags of non-member observer states such as Palestine shall be raised at the New York headquarters.
Most of the 28-nation European Union were among the 45 nations that abstained from voting. However, France and more than half a dozen others voted in favor of the Palestinian resolution after the EU split on the issue.
“It’s a step to the recognition of Palestine as a full member state of the United Nations,” Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah told reporters in Paris earlier on Thursday.
The only other non-member observer state is the Vatican, which reacted coolly when the Palestinians first circulated their draft resolution last month.
The Palestinians initially presented their initiative as a joint effort with the Holy See, but the Vatican said it would not co-sponsor the resolution and requested that its name be removed from the text.
The Vatican said on Wednesday it had not decided whether to fly its flag next to Palestine’s should the resolution pass.
The resolution says observer states’ flags will be flown within 20 days. Palestinian diplomats say they expect their flag to be raised on 30 September, the day the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, addresses world leaders at the annual gathering of the assembly.
Ron Proser, Israel’s UN ambassador, criticised the assembly for adopting the resolution, saying “the assembly would vote to declare the Earth is flat if the Palestinians proposed it”. US ambassador Samantha Power said raising the Palestinian flag will not bring Israelis and Palestinians any closer together.
Alongside France, EU members Sweden, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Belgium, Malta and Poland voted yes.
Read more here.
In June, the Vatican signed a treaty formally recognizing Palestine as a state. The Vatican, in taking the action, joined major international entities such as the European Parliament in recognizing Palestinian statehood. The U.N. upgraded the Palestinian delegation’s status in 2012 to that of a nonmember observer state, and in 2014 the European Parliament voted in favor of a nonbinding resolution calling for the recognition of Palestinian statehood as part of a two-state solution.
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