Vatican and Palestinian flags fly alongside other nations' at the UN
For the first time the flags of the Holy See and the State of Palestine are flying outside the Flag Alley at the Palais des Nations outside the United Nations in Geneva.
They were raised Oct. 13 at a joint flag raising ceremony at which the Director-General of the United Nations at Geneva Michael Moeller said that "we must never lose faith.
"As his Holiness the Pope emphasized at the General Assembly this year, the contemporary world is experiencing a growing and steady social fragmentation. Restoring confidence in one and another should be a priority for all of us. "
The ceremony followed a resolution which the General Assembly passed on 10 September 2015, allowing to raise the flags of non-member observer States at the United Nations.
The flag of the Holy See was raised by the United Nation for the first time on Sept. 25, to coincide with the arrival of Pope Francis to the U.N. headquarters in New York.
When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivered his remarks to the General Assembly's General Debate, the Palestinian flag was raised for the first time on 30 September 2015.
The representative of the Holy See, Monsignor Richard Gyhra, said that "with the many crisis facing the international community today, the role of the United Nations becomes ever more crucial.
"We all feel the responsibility to contribute to the important service the UN renders to the human family in the search for peace and pursued development as a benefit to all people in respect of their conscience and identity.
"As all the flags wave together, may they signify that a convergence of efforts on the part of all the countries of the world will succeed in bringing about the end of conflicts and other causes of senseless suffering."
The Holy See and the State of Palestine are currently the two non-member observer States at the United Nations.
The Holy See became a Permanent Observer State at the United Nationz on April 6, 1964. The State of Palestine became a Permanent Observer State on Nov. 29, 2012.
Palestine's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Riad Malki, said he was grateful for "the overwhelming support, the vote and the resolution to raise the flag received underscored one more time the support of the international community to the cause of peace and with it human rights for all.
"We are grateful to all those states that have stood by this initiative and supported it by voting in favour of raising the flag," said Malki.
The U.N. General Assembly passed a motion in September to raise the Palestinian and Vatican flags. Israel voted against the motion, along with the United States and six other countries. Forty-five countries also abstained.
The other six countries that voted against the move were: Australia, Canada, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and Tuvalu.