Holy See Says It Will Accept UN Decision on Flying Observer State Flags

Palestine Presents Draft Resolution Before Papal Visit

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The Holy See released a statement this afternoon regarding the controversy surrounding the Palestinian flag at the United Nations.

The statement says: 

In accordance with the rules governing the General Assembly no Member or Observer State is entitled to oppose the tabling of a draft resolution by a Member State. In light of this, the Holy See does not object to the tabling of a draft resolution concerning the raising of the flags of Observer States at the UN headquarters and offices. 

The Holy See, however, notes the long established praxis and tradition of the UN, since 1945, whereby only flags of member States are displayed at the UN headquarters and offices, and will accept whatever decision that the UN may wish to take in this regard in the future.

From the Vatican, 28 August 2015

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Palestine presented a draft resolution Thursday to raise the flags of non-member observer states at the United Nations. 

Initial reports of the resolution noted that in first drafts, Palestine had included a proposal that the flag of the Holy See also be raised. The Holy See, as well as Palestine, has the status of non-member observer state at the UN.

The initiative comes as Pope Francis prepares to address a high-level gathering of the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 25.

The Holy See already had taken a distance from the resolution, before today’s statement. “The Holy See does not intend to co-sponsor a draft resolution that the State of Palestine may eventually present on the matter,” a note circulated earlier this week said.

The Holy See does recognize the State of Palestine and earlier this year, the two parties signed a comprehensive agreement.

The UN General Assembly granted Palestine non-member observer state status in November 2012.

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