Palestinian flag raised at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France (13 December 2011)

Erekat: UN flag initiative to raise awareness about Palestinian rights

PNN/ Ramallah/

Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee, Dr. Saeb Erekat on Thursday called upon the international community to support the initiative to raise the flags of non-member states at the United Nations headquarters.

Erekat said that raising the Palestinian flag at the UN will be sending a strong message of support to the realization of the two-state vision, and in honoring the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

Erekat pointed out the even though this step by its own will not end the Israeli occupation, it will still contribute to the efforts aimed at both the attainment of peace and the realization of the rights of the Palestinian people.

He added that Israel is opposing this initiative and is mobilizing its allies at the United Nations to block it.

“The government of the occupying power rejects the initiative simply because it does not believe in ending the occupation, but prefers the maintenance of the current status-quo by which Palestinians are placed under a separate and unequal system and where the build-up of Israeli settlements and the transfer of Israel’s civilian population into the occupied territories continues unabated.”

Erekat finally called upon the UN members to send a clear message of support by backing the non-violent diplomatic step, in the hopes of getting closer to attaining peace in Palestine, and the right to self-determination.

Erekat’s remarks come as the UN is expected on Thursday to green-light the initiative in a symbolic move highlighting Palestinian aspirations for statehood.

The General Assembly will vote at 3 p.m. New York time on a draft resolution that diplomats say is almost certain to garner a majority in the 193-nation forum.