Who: United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)
What: Approved the Resolution on Raising of Flags by Non-Member Observer States
When: 10 September 2015
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 10 September 2015 overwhelmingly approved the Resolution on Raising of Flags by Non-Member Observer States. The resolution was introduced by Iraq as the President of the Arab Group for the month of September 2015.
The resolution says the flags of non-member observer states like Palestine shall be raised at UN Headquarters and United Nations Offices following the flags of the Member States of the organization.
With this, non-member Observer States, namely Palestine and Vatican would be flying their flags at UN headquarters.
The resolution was adopted by the UNGA by a record vote of 119 including India in favour out of 193 UN members while eight countries voted against the Palestinian-drafted resolution. The resolution saw 45 abstentions.
The eight countries voting against the resolution are Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Tuvalu and the United States.
Besides, UNGA also adopted resolution on basic principles on sovereign debt restructuring processes.
The resolution reads that the sovereign debt restructuring processes should be guided by basic principles, as included in the report of the Ad Hoc Committee. It was adopted by a recorded vote of 136 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Germany, Israel, Japan, United Kingdom, United States), with 41 abstentions.
The resolution guided by the principles of the UN Charter while emphasizing the equality of all States, large and small is of great symbolic significance. As the observer of State of Palestine said, “While raising the flag would not end the occupation, it would signify to Palestinian people everywhere that the international community supported them.”
Further, Iraq, which introduced the text in the UNGA as the President of Arab Group, observed “it is an important step towards supporting the Palestinian people, their right to self-determination and their need to take the place that was due to them.” According to France, ”the vote is for a two-State solution.”
Palestine was granted the status of a non-member observer State by the UNGA in 2012.