New York (December 20, 2017): 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UN envoy Riyad Mansour said the General Assembly would vote on a draft resolution calling for Trump’s declaration to be withdrawn, which was vetoed by the United States in the 15-member UN Security Council on Monday.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.
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 U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The draft UN resolution calls upon all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.