Historic raising of Palestinian flag at United Nations
New York (CNN)
It’s a watershed moment that has won support on many fronts, but drawn condemnation from Israel and the United States.
The Palestinian flag was raised outside the headquarters of the United Nations in New York for the first time Wednesday. Under cloudy skies, the politically sensitive flag raising ceremony took place at 1:16 p.m. at the U.N.’s Rose Garden.
The historic moment came after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the U.N. General Assembly that the Palestinian Authority was no longer bound by the Oslo Peace Accords.
At the ceremony, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the occasion a “day of pride for the Palestinian people around the world” and a “day of hope.”
During his General Assembly speech, however, Abbas accused Israel of not committing to the Oslo Accords and, in response said,
“They leave us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements, while Israel continuously violates them.”
Abbas declared what he called “Palestine” as a “state under occupation.”
“We therefore declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying power, because the status quo cannot continue,” Abbas said.
The Oslo Accords are a series of peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinians signed in the 1990’s.
The consequences of Abbas’ declaration remain unclear, and its practical effects on the relations between Israelis and Palestinians are uncertain, including its effects on security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The flag-raising ceremony puts the spotlight on the Palestinians and highlights their ongoing efforts to obtain statehood, but it needs to be more than a symbolic act for it to be meaningful, Palestinians say.
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” which aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace.
The work of the United Nations would not be possible without the initial partnerships that were active in its creation and the thousands of partnerships each year between governments, civil society, the private sector, faith-based groups and other non-governmental organizations that are needed to support the Organization in achieving its future goals.
Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.
Dedicated to the United Nations’ International Day of Peace celebrated each year on September 21.
Join and spread the Spirit of Peace, because Peace can only prosper as a collective condition of human heart and mind, for the sake of all Children!
…. and the Dream of World Peace will become Reality!