LAKE SUCCESS (Dec. 13)
The U.N. Special Political Committee today adopted the Belgian resolution on Jerusalem which was opposed by the United States, Britain, Israel and others, but was favored by the Arab states and the Catholic nations of Latin America.
The resolution calls for the appointment by the Trusteeship Council of a four-man committee to make a study, in consulatation with Israel, Jordan, and the religious interests concerned, of conditions which “can assure the effective protection, under the auspices of the United Nations, of the Holy Places and of spiritual and religious interests” in the Jerusalem area. This four-man committee is to report back to next year’s session of the General Assembly.
The vote on this resolution was 30-18, with 11 abstentions. This falls short of the two-thirds majority necessary for the adoption of the same resolution in the General Assembly.
The Special Political Committee decided by a similar vote against taking a ballot on the American-amended Swedish proposal — favored by Israel and Jordan — under which a proposed U.N. representative in Jerusalem would be empowered “to represent the interests of the United Nations in the Holy City” and report to the General Assembly such recommendations as he may consider appropriate on the Jerusalem question. The Swedish proposal originally recommended internationalization of the Holy Places only.
After the vote, Abba S. Eban, of Israel, asked the chairman for clarification of the procedural situation that seemed to have arisen in view of the lack of a two-thirds vote and of the Committee decision not to consider an alternative resolution. The chairman pointed out that such an alternative could be brought before the Assembly in the event of failure of the Belgian proposal to pass.
Many observers believe that, if voted first, the amended Swedish proposal might also have received a majority vote, though not a two-thirds majority. However, in a preliminary ballot the Committee approved a Chilean motion to consider the Belgian resolution first. That vote was 30-18, with ten abstentions.
In the voting, the majority included the Arab states, a large number of Catholic states and the other Moslem nations. Against the proposal were in addition to Israel: the United States, Britain, Australia, Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries. The Soviet bloc abstained.