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UN General Assembly demands compliance with Jerusalem-related Security Council decisions

[JURIST] The United Nations General Assembly [official website] on Thursday demanded [text, PDF] that all member states comply with Resolutions issued by the Security Council [official website] regarding the status of Jerusalem.

The General Assembly described city as "a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions," and declared 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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council." With apparent reference to the United States' decision earlier this month to recognize Jerusalem as the capital [NYT report] of Israel, the UNGA called on all states "to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem" and to adhere to Security Council Resolution 478 [text], which urges all member states to withdraw diplomatic missions from the city. The General Assembly also renewed it's call to end conduct "imperiling the two-State solution and for the intensification and acceleration of international and regional efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East[.]"

The measure was approved by a vote of 128-9-35 [UN News Centre report].

Following Thursday's vote, Yemen and Turkey asked the Secretary-General to resume [letter, PDF] a currently suspended emergency session in order to pursue the "Uniting for Peace" procedures in Resolution 377(v) [text, PDF]. That procedure allows [official materials] the General Assembly to make recommendations for "collective action ... including the use of armed force" when the Security Council fails to fulfill its duty to protect international peace and security due to the inability of the permanent Council members to agree to a course of action.

The General Assembly resolution comes just days after a nearly identical Security Council resolution was vetoed [UN News Centre report] by the United States. The remaining fourteen members of the Security Council, including the four other permanent members, approved of the Resolution. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley [official bio] said that the veto was an exercise of US sovereignty [press release], and that the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem "does not prejudge any final status issues, including Jerusalem’s boundaries." The draft resolution was put forward by Egypt, who expressly identified [meeting record] the US decision as animating the proposed resolution.

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