The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a Palestinian resolution to fly the state's flag at UN headquarters, despite a strong objection from Israel.
The resolution calls on the United Nations to raise non-member observer states’ flags at the UN Headquarters and Offices alongside those of member states.
One hundred and nineteen member states voted in favour of the resolution, which is a symbolic step for Palestine’s pursuit of statehood, while eight members voted against the it and 45 abstained.
The United States, Israel, Canada, Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, and Tuvalu voted against the resolution.
— United Nations (@UN) 10 Eylül 2015
US Ambassador Samantha Power strongly objected to the resolution, but said that the US does not intend to undermine the Palestinian effort to seek statehood.
"The United States will vote against this resolution but this vote is not a vote for the status quo or a rejection of Palestinian aspirations for statehood," she said.
European states, on the other hand, were divided over the resolution - with France and Sweden voting in favor while Germany, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, and Cyprus abstained.
French Ambassador Francois Delattre said, “this flag is a powerful symbol, a glimmer of hope.”
Palestine and the Vatican are the only two observer states at the United Nations. The Vatican has backed away from supporting the effort, saying it will not raise its flag before Pope Francis visits the UN later this month.
The UN now has 20 days to implement the resolution, as the Palestinians would like President Mahmoud Abbas to raise their flag after addressing the General Assembly on September 30.