In an important move, the United Nations General Assembly decided that the flags of non-member observer States shall be raised at the world body’s headquarters and offices.
The General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the Resolution regarding the issue on 10the September. 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 move, the 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:
|5||Federated States of Micronesia|
|8||the United States.|
In addition to its 193 member states, the United Nations welcomes international organizations, entities, and non-member states as observers.
Observer status is granted by a United Nations General Assembly resolution. The status of a Permanent Observer is based purely on practice, and there are no provisions for it in the United Nations Charter.
Observers have the right to speak at United Nations General Assembly meetings, vote on procedural matters, serve as signatories on working papers, and sign resolutions but not to sponsor resolutions or vote on resolutions of substantive matters.
Various other rights (e.g., to speak in debates, to submit proposals and amendments, the right of reply, to raise points of order and to circulate documents, etc.) are given selectively to some observers only.
So far, the EU is the only international organisation to hold these enhanced permissions.
There is a distinction between state and non-state observers. Non-Member States of the United Nations, which are members of one or more specialized agencies, can apply for the status of Permanent Observer state.
The non-state observers are the international organizations and other entities. Non-member observer states are arranged for seating in the General Assembly Hall immediately after the Member States and before the other observers.
Currently the Non-member States are: