Palestine will now fly its flag at UN headquarters

Last Updated on November 5, 2017 by

UN headquarters
UN headquarters

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to allow Palestine flag to fly at United Nations headquarters.

Of the 193 UN members, 119 voted in favour.

The flag will be hoisted at the UN headquarters on Sept 30 when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will come to address the general assembly.

The United States and Israel were among eight countries that voted against the resolution, which says the flags of non-member observer states like Palestine “shall be raised at (UN) headquarters (in New York) and United Nations offices”.

Most of the 28-nation European Union was among the 45 nations that abstained from voting. However, France and more than half a dozen others voted in favour of the Palestinian resolution after the EU split on the issue.

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 resolution says observer states’ flags will be flown within 20 days. Palestinian diplomats say they expect their flag to be raised on Sept 30, the day Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the general assembly.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor 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 would not bring Israelis and Palestinians any closer together.

Alongside France, EU members Sweden, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Belgium, Malta and Poland cast yes votes. France has been spearheading a push to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which collapsed in 2014.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre said the French vote was a vote in favour of the two-state solution which “must remain a compass for us all”.

In 2012, the General Assembly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas praised the countries which sided with ‘‘justice’’ by voting for the Palestinians to be allowed to raise their flag at United Nations headquarters, a news agency report from Ramallah said on Friday.

He said the struggle will continue until the Palestinian flag flies over our eternal capital, occupied Jerusalem”.


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