A draft resolution was recently proposed that would support the raising of the flag for a non-member observer State at the United Nations, like Palestine, for which the majority of the members voted in favor of. The few who were against: United States, Canada, Australia, and Israel, among others. The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly approved of the resolution on Thursday, and it allows for Palestinians to raise their flag at U.N. headquarters. Overall, 45 nations abstained, 119 voted “yes,” and eight other countries-including Israel-voted no.
Palestine and the Vatican are the only two observers currently. Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. ambassador, celebrated the vote, deeming it “historic,” and calling it “another step towards fulfillment of the promise of independence made to the Palestinian people nearly seven decades ago.” The Palestinian President is set to address the General Assembly later this month on September 30th, and it has been proposed that he raise the nation's flag following that appearance.
Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor responded to the event by saying,“History proves to us that negotiations can be fruitful, that peace is possible, and that we can create a new reality for the people of the region,” he said. “I look forward to seeing the image of an Israeli prime minister and a Palestinian leader standing side by side, raising the flags of our two peoples, living together in peace. That will be a photo truly worth taking.”While over 130 countries around the world have officially recognized a state of Palestine, the United States and Israel continue to oppose recognizing the state because they say it “undermines efforts to negotiate a peace agreement.” Canada also joined the United States and Israel in voting against the move, as did Australia and some other small island states.
Back in May of this year, the Vatican signed its first formal bilateral treaty which recognized Palestinian statehood. At the time, the Vatican had said that they hoped the move would promote improved relations between Palestine and Israel. The Vatican said that the accord, a result of over 15 years of negotiations, would cover essential aspects of the life and activity of the Catholic Church in the State of Palestine. They also said that the agreement could be a stimulus to bringing a definitive “end to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict” in the region. To that too, the Israeli Foreign Ministry expressed disappointment, and they called the treaty a “hasty step” that would hurt the prospects of peace for the two countries.
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