The 193-member United Nations General Assembly will hold a rare emergency special session on Thursday at the request of Arab and Muslim states on US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour said the General Assembly would vote on a draft resolution calling for Trump’s declaration to be withdrawn, which was vetoed by the United States in the 15-member UN Security Council on Monday.
The remaining 14 Security Council members voted in favor of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically mention the United States or Trump but which expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”
Mansour said on Monday he hoped there would be “overwhelming support” in the General Assembly for the resolution. Such a vote is non-binding, but carries political weight.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley, in a note on Twitter, warned the United States would remember those who voted for the resolution criticizing the US decision.
At the UN we're always asked to do more & give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us. On Thurs there'll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names. pic.twitter.com/ZsusB8Hqt4— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) December 19, 2017
“At the UN we’re always asked to do more & give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don’t expect those we’ve helped to target us. On Thurs there’ll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names,” she wrote.
Under a 1950 resolution, an emergency special session can be called for the General Assembly to consider a matter “with a view to making appropriate recommendations to members for collective measures” if the Security Council fails to act.
Only 10 such sessions have been convened, and the last time the General Assembly met in such a session was in 2009 on occupied East Jerusalem and Palestinian territories. Thursday’s meeting will be a resumption of that session.
Trump abruptly reversed decades of US policy this month when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, generating outrage from Palestinians and the Arab world and concern among Washington’s western allies.
Trump also plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The draft UN resolution calls upon all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.
Haley said on Monday that the resolution was vetoed in the Security Council in defense of US sovereignty and the US role in the Middle East peace process. She criticized it as an insult to Washington and an embarrassment to council members.
Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a move never recognized internationally.