U.N. Council Adopis International Statute for Jerusalem; U.S. and Britain Abstain
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U.N. Council Adopis International Statute for Jerusalem; U.S. and Britain Abstain

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The United Nations Trusteeship Council this morning adopted the international statute for Jerusalem. The vote on the statute as a whole was nine to zero, with two abstentions–the United States and Britain.

An Iraqi resolution asking for immediate steps to implement the statute and for the nomination of a U.N. governor of the proposed international enclave was rejected. A joint Australian-Belgian-American-Philippine resolution asking that the statute be forwarded to Israel and Transjordan with a request for their cooperation was adopted by ten to zero, with Britain abstaining.

After the vote, Roger Garreau, Council president, hinted that the Jerusalem issue may yet be referred back to the General Assembly. In closing today’s session, he appealed to Israel and Transjordan for “generous and complete cooperation,” adding that if such cooperation is withheld the matter will be returned to the Assembly.


Earlier, Israel’s representative Aubrey Eban thanked the Council for giving the Government of Israel the opportunity of participating in the discussions. He declared that throughout the debate Israel was motivated by its duty to maintain the peace, stability and dignity which “has been restored to Jerusalem by the energy and sacrifices of its population.” Mr. Eban added that the “108,000 people of Jerusalem are citizens of Israel with the unohallengeable right to remain so.

“Their legislative, juridical and political institutions are inseparably bound up with Israel,” he continued. “My government sustains the economic life of the city,” Mr. Eban pointed out. When the “most venerable links of history and tradition” are added to these concerns, he stated, it can be seen that Israel cannot be disassociated from Jerusalem and its problems.

“In the last resort it is upon the people of Jerusalem that the city’s future depends. In the light of this consideration the Trusteeship Council acted wisely and prudently by officially turning to the Government of Israel in the next stage of development. My government will faithfully convey its own views and those of the people of Jerusalem who are in its charge,” he promised.

The Israel representative also expressed the view that the United Nations is not yet ready to advance the process of effectively solving the international aspect of the Jerusalem problem and that a “great deal of discussion and deliberation is still in store” before harmony is achieved among the various interests concerned.

Turning to the Transjordan representative’s proposal, during the debate on the statute, that the Holy Places be protected by the U.N. under a system of periodic inspections, Mr. Eban asked that this not be confused with the proposal which he made: that the U.N. exercise, through its accredited representatives, responsibility for the safety of the Holy Places and the preservation of existing rights in reference to them.

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