(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) With 119 UN member states in favor an overwhelming majority of the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution on “raising the flags of non-member observer States at the United Nations” on 10 September 2015. The resolution requests that the UN implement it within 20 days of its adoption.
Eight countries including Israel the United States Canada and Australia voted against the Palestinian-drafted resolution. Forty-five nations including many members of the European Union abstained from the voting. France Sweden Poland Italy Spain Ireland Belgium and Slovenia however were among the EU states that voted in favor.
The only other non-member observer state at the UN is the Vatican. However when the Palestinians had first proposed their draft resolution and tried to recruit the Vatican to sign on to the resolution several weeks ago the Vatican reportedly stated in a circulated note that it would not co-sponsor the flag initiative according to Reuters. The day before voting the Vatican’s UN representative said he didn’t even know whether the flag would fly at the UN after Pope Francis addresses the General Assembly in late September should the resolution pass. Earlier this year the Vatican had signed its first formal bilateral treaty recognizing Palestinian statehood.
The passing of this resolution has been considered as a historical step by many. “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. French ambassador to the UN Francois Delattre assessed the outcome of the vote as a glimmer of hope for the Palestinians and as a step in favor of the two-state solution.
Palestinian representative to the UN Riyad Mansour said prior to the vote that the resolution would it would constitute another step towards solidifying the state of Palestine in the international arena. “In this year of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations which has had the question of Palestine on its agenda since its inception this step must be matched by concrete actions without delay” Mansour said.
The resolution represents another tangible move by the UN on the Palestinian issue following the General Assembly’s recognition of Palestine as a nonmember observer state in 2012 therefore allowing the entity to take part in assembly debates.