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U.N. Trusteeship Council Votes to Ask Israel to Halt Transfer of Offices to Jerusalem

The U.N. Trusteeship Council today adopted a resolution, though without a majority vote in its favor, asking the Israel Government to “revoke” the transfer of its offices to Jerusalem and “to abstain from any action liable to hinder the implementation of the General Assembly resolution of Dec. 9, 1949.” Following the vote on this resolution, the Council adjourned until its regular session commencing January 19 in Geneva.

Despite passage of this strongly-worded resolution, the vote represented no victory for the Arab states sitting in the Council–Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon. A mildly-phrased resolution was arrived at by the joint efforts of France, Belgium and the Philippines for the purpose of getting a near-unanimous vote. The Arab states amended the proposal with stronger language and the resulting vote on the whole resolution brought seven abstentions, with five nations in favor. No negative votes were cast.

Those abstaining were Australia, China, Dominican Republic, New Zealand, U.S.S.R., Britain, United States. Voting in favor were Belgium, France, Iraq, Mexico and the Philippines. Two nations–U.S. and the Soviet Union–abstained on every paragraph of the resolution. The text of the resolution as amended by the Arab states reads as follows:

“The Trusteeship Council, concerned at the removal to Jerusalem of certain ministries and central departments of the Government of Israel, considering that such action ignores and is incompatible with the provisions of paragraph two of the General Assembly resolution of December 9, 1949:

1. Is of the opinion that the action of the Government of Israel is likely to render more difficult the implementation of the statute of Jerusalem with which the Council is entrusted.

2. Requests the president of the Trusteeship Council (a) to invite the Government of Israel to submit a written statement on the matters covered by this resolution, and to revoke these measures and to abstain from any action liable to hinder the implementation of the General Assembly resolution; (b) to keep closely in touch with the developments in Jerusalem while the Council is not in session.”