PA Rallying for Votes to Raise Flag at UN

PA envoy to UN claims that the international body will likely back the move to raise its flag, despite being a non-member state.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Palestinian Authority UN envoy Riyad Mansour
Palestinian Authority UN envoy Riyad Mansour

A draft resolution on raising the Palestinian flag at the United Nations (UN) will be adopted next week in time for president Mahmud Abbas's visit to New York, the Palestinian Authority (PA) envoy said Thursday.

The UN General Assembly will vote on September 10 on the measure that is almost certain to garner a majority of votes in the 193-nation forum.

"We have the votes and we are working to get as many votes as we can," said Riyad Mansour, the PA representative to the UN.

Once adopted, the UN will have 20 days to carry out the decision, which would be in time for Abbas's visit on September 30.

Mansour declined to say whether a formal flag-raising ceremony would be held during Abbas's visit, an event that would highlight the Palestinians' aspirations for statehood.

"It is a symbolic thing but it is another step to solidify the pillars of the state of Palestine in the international arena and give our people a small hope that the international community is still supporting the independence of the state of Palestine," Mansour told reporters, according to AFP

The draft resolution presented last week to the General Assembly would allow the flags of the PA and of the Holy See to be hoisted alongside those of the 193 member states. 

Both the Vatican and Palestine have non-member observer status at the United Nations. But while the Vatican has largely supported the PA and even the concept of Palestinian statehood, it has vehemently and repeatedly opposed the PA's inclusion of the Vatican in its fight to have the flag raised in the UN. 

Israel's envoy to the UN this week expressed strong opposition to the initiative, accusing the PA of trying to "score easy and meaningless points at the UN."

Ambassador Ron Prosor had asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly president Ron Kutesa to block the move, which would break with the UN practice of flying only the flags of member states.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Ban would abide by the General Assembly decision.