Arab Bloc Suffers Defeat in United Nations on Refugee Issue

The Arab bloc in the United Nations suffered a defeat today when the General Assembly’s Social and Humanitarian Committee approved a resolution, dealing with European refugees, against which the Arab League states have been waging a rearguard battle for the past few weeks.

Before the resolution was approved- by vote of 40 in favor, five against and 10 abstentions–the Arab delegates withdrew amendments which they had presented because they foresaw defeat.

The resolution as finally approved recommends that the General Assembly establish a new voluntary fund to promote a permanent solution of the refugee problem. The Arab objection was to a part of the resolution which declares that the countries where the refugees are found now are to assume full financial responsibility for the care of these refugees after 1958.

The Arab objections to transferring full responsibility for care of refugees to the “countries of residence” was based on their fear that the same principle might ultimately be applied to the Arab refugees from Palestine now residing in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. Israel voted in favor of the resolution adopted today.

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