UNITED NATIONS - The Vatican flag will be raised for the first time at the United Nations on Friday ahead of Pope Francis' address, but there will be no ceremony, the Holy See's mission said.

UN member states adopted a resolution allowing the Vatican and the Palestinians, which both have non-member observer status at the United Nations, to fly their flags. The resolution was championed by the Palestinians, who see the symbolic gesture as an important reminder at the world body of its campaign for statehood.

But the Vatican had distanced itself from the Palestinian drive at the United Nations, arguing that there was no reason to break with the 70-year practise of raising only the flags of member states. The Holy See's mission to the United Nations had initially said it had no intention of raising the flag ahead of the pope's visit, but it changed its stance after UN officials made the request. "The Holy See and the United Nations secretariat have agreed that the flag will be raised with no ceremony" on Friday, said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican's UN ambassador.

"UN personnel will raise it at the same time they will raise the other flags that day," he told reporters on Monday. For their part, the Palestinians have invited hundreds of leaders to attend a formal flag-raising ceremony on September 30 in the presence of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour said the flag-raising will be a "glorious day" for the Palestinians, who won backing from 119 countries in favor of the resolution. The Vatican's ambassador made clear that it was at the United Nations' behest that the flag was being raised.