Friday, November 24, 2017

Palestinian flag to be raised at UN


By Amy Mac - September 12, 2015
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Section: [Main News]
Tags: [UN]

The United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly in favour of raising a Palestinian flag at its New York Headquarters, symbolizing a diplomatic victory in Palestinians’ campaign for statehood.

A vast majority of member states supported the resolution, which approved the right for non-member observer states to fly their flags alongside member states.

Palestine became an observer state in 2012, alongside The Holy See who gained observer status in 1964.  

There were 119 in favor of the resolution, eight voting against - including Israel and the United States - and 45 abstentions.

“Today’s vote is a reaffirmation of the legitimacy of the national aspirations of the Palestinian people, of their existence among the nations of the world and their right to self-determination,” said the Palestinian ambassador, Riyad Mansour in thanking his General Assembly supporters.

Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, called the flag vote, "a step on the road towards Palestine becoming a full member of the United Nations," and PA Minister of Foreign Affairs, Riyad al-Maliki, described the vote as an "historic moment."

French ambassador Francois Delattre said, "this flag is a powerful symbol, a glimmer of hope," for the Palestinians amid broken-down peace talks.”

The resolution divided the nations of the European Union, with France, Russia and Sweden voting in favour whilst others such as Britain, Germany, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Cyprus abstained.

The resolution was primarily supported by countries of the Arab world, Iran and nearly every African and Asian country. It was co-sponsored by more than 50 countries.

Israel and the US, alongside countries including Canada and Australia, were among the no votes. They argued that the move is a hollow gesture that does not address the central issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"Raising the Palestinian flag outside the UN headquarters is not an alternative to negotiations (between Palestinians and Israel), and will not bring the parties closer to peace," US ambassador Samantha Power said.

Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor slammed the move as, “a blatant attempt to hijack the UN.”

“No vote can turn an empty symbolic gesture into a state. The international community must make it clear to the Palestinians that the only way to achieve statehood is through direct negotiations,” Prosor said.

He went on to say that whilst the vote "may serve the interests of Palestinian leaders, but it will not help the Palestinian people."

 

The Vatican has distanced itself from the resolution. Ahead of the vote the Vatican's UN representative, Bernardito Auza, told reporters that the Holy See did not intend to raise the flag ahead of the pope's upcoming visit, but did not rule out doing it in the future.


 

 

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