Holy See won't raise flag at UN before pope visits

2015-09-10 08:37
Pope Francis. (AP)

Pope Francis. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - The Holy See said on Wednesday it will not raise its flag at the United Nations before Pope Francis addresses the world body later this month if the UN approves a resolution allowing non-member observer states to fly their flags alongside the 193 member states.

The Holy See and Palestine are the only states that are not UN members. The Palestinians have sponsored the resolution and hope President Mahmoud Abbas can raise their flag when he addresses the annual meeting of world leaders at the General Assembly on September 30.

Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour said he expects the General Assembly to overwhelmingly support the resolution when it votes on Thursday afternoon. Since its founding 70 years ago, only the flags of UN member states have flown outside UN premises.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican's apostolic nuncio and UN ambassador, told a news conference that the Holy See did not want its name mentioned in the resolution and did not co-sponsor it "because we have generally different priorities."

Auza said the Holy See "didn't have any intention to change the practice of the United Nations since its foundation, but we are not against the Palestinians asking for it."

As for the Holy See raising its flag before the pope visits the United Nations on September 25, Auza said, "absolutely not, we have no intention to do that."

But he would not say whether the flag might fly at the UN in the future.

"That question is open," Auza said. "I couldn't say anything what the Holy See will do later on."

Israel has urged UN leaders to reject the Palestinians attempt to raise their flag and the country's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor has accused the Palestinians of "attempting to swiftly change longstanding UN tradition in order to score political points."

The Vatican has diplomatic relations with both Israel and the Palestinians.

In 1965, the Vatican rejected some 2 000 years of Catholic teachings that Jews were collectively responsible for the death of Christ. And after decades of reluctance to recognise the Jewish state, Polish-born Pope John Paul II forged formal relations with Israel in 1993.

The Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine only a few months ago, in May. With Pope Francis' decision, the Holy See joined some 135 other countries, the vast majority of states in Asia, Africa and Latin America that recognise Palestine.

Read more on:    un  |  pope francis  |  palestine  |  israel

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.