Majority of CARICOM States Support Status Quo in Jerusalem
Thursday December 22nd: By a resounding vote the United Nations approved a motion rejecting the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The 193-member General Assembly adopted the resolution by 128 to nine with 35 abstentions. Turkey and Yemen co-sponsored the draft resolution that called on all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem. The vote was called at the UN General Assembly after the US vetoed a resolution put to the Security Council rejecting Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem and relocate its embassy there. The US cannot veto General Assembly motions, which require a simple majority to be adopted.
The resolution demanded that “all States comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.”
The General Assembly further affirmed that “any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
In that regard the Assembly also called upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pursuant to Security Council resolution 478 adopted in 1980.
Reiterating its call for the reversal of the negative trends that endanger the two-State solution, the Assembly urged greater international and regional efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
Caricom members did not have a common policy position on the resolution, with seven states voting for, five abstaining and two absent from the vote. The abstentions and absence of particular CARICOM States could be a result of each of these states protecting their own interests in the light of US threats to retaliation.
|Abstained: 5/35||Voted “Yes” to the resolution: 7/128||Absent from vote 2/21|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Barbados||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Guyana|
|St Vincent and Grenadines|
CNN reports that” the vote came after US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley issued a direct threat, saying that the US will think twice about funding the world body if it voted to condemn [US President ]Trump’s decision.
“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in this assembly,” Haley said. “We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution” to the UN and when other member nations ask Washington “to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”
Haley said the US will put its embassy in Jerusalem regardless of the vote.”
NY Times reports that “The non-binding resolution declares that “any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”
Language in the resolution was softer and less direct in its criticism of the United States than Palestinians had proposed, after Egypt and some European allies said they would not vote for the original version.”
Middle East Christian leaders in open letter to Trump: Peace is impossible unless Jerusalem is for all
Earlier in an open letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, Christian leaders in Jerusalem said U.S. recognition of the city as the capital of Israel could have dire regional consequences.
“We have been following, with concern, the reports about the possibility of changing how the United States understands and deals with the status of Jerusalem. We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division,” the Christian leaders said, just hours before Trump announced the U.S. was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital and relocating the U.S. embassy.
They appealed to Trump to take their viewpoint into consideration, as did the leaders who met at Camp David in July 2000 to decide the status of Jerusalem. The Christian leaders said their “solemn advice and plea” for the president was to continue recognizing the international status of Jerusalem.
“We ask you, Mr. President, to help us all walk toward more love and a definitive peace, which cannot be reached without Jerusalem being for all,” they said Dec. 6.
“Any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm. We are confident that, with strong support from our friends, Israelis and Palestinians can work toward negotiating a sustainable and just peace, benefiting all who long for the Holy City of Jerusalem to fulfill its destiny.”