The United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the resolution reflecting regrets about the recent decisions by the US regarding the status of Jerusalem on Thursday 21 December.

The resolution in question stressed the position of the UN member states on the issue of the Holy City of Jerusalem, after the US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on 6 December 2017: ‘any decisions and action which purport to have altered, the character, status of demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.’ Additionally, the resolution underlines that all States are ‘to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem’.1  The resolution was kept from passing in the Security Council on Monday 18 December due to United States (US) using its veto.

The resolution was adopted with 128 votes in favour and 35 abstained votes. Nine countries, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo and the US, voted against the resolution.

The resolution passed the General Assembly after the Security Council failed to adopt it, because of a negative vote by the US. After the Security Council, the US delegation to the UN and President Trump himself threatened to cut any US aid for the countries who voted in favour of the resolution. This unprecedented level of threat is extremely uncommon within the arena of international relations. On 19 December, Nikki Haley, representative of the US to the UN, tweeted: ‘At the UN we’re always asked to do more & give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don’t expect those we’ve helped to target us. On Thurs there’ll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names’.

After adopting resolution 2334 (2016) in December 2016, the Security Council reiterated its demand to Israel to immediately cease all settlement activities on the occupied Palestinian territory. This resolution included East Jerusalem. In the case of resolution 2334 (2016), the US abstained from voting. The US decision on 8 December 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital directly contradicts resolution 2334 (2016).

Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace process Nickolay Mladenov underlines resolution 2334 (2016) during a press briefing on 18 December. ‘The resolution reiterated its demand that Israel ‘immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,’ he stated. ‘Let me reiterate that the United Nations considers all settlement activities to be illegal under international law and a major obstacle to peace.’2

On this occasion, GICJ calls upon the international community and the relevant UN bodies to bring an end to the prolonged occupation of Palestine, to acknowledge Palestinian’s right to national self-determination and to ensure the immediate halting of all Israeli policies and practices aimed at altering the character, status and demography of occupied Palestine, including East Jerusalem. GICJ calls upon the US government to fulfil its obligations as a UN member State and to comply with the adopted resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem.

(Nikki Haley’s Twitter account, @nikkihaley, 20 December 2017)

Member States that voted in favour of the resolution:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Member States that voted against the resolution:

Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo, United States

Member States that abstained:

Antigua-Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Haiti, Hungary, Jamaica, Kiribati, Latvia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Trinidad-Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu

[1] Middle East: Security Council fails to adopt resolution on Jerusalem, published 18 December 2017, http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=58307#.Wj0EE9_iaUk.

[2] Note to Correspondents: Nickolay Mladenov – Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace process – Briefing to the Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East – Report on UNSCR 2334 (2016), published on 18 December 2017, https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/note-correspondents/2017-12-18/note-correspondents-nickolay-mladenov-special-coordinator.

GICJ Activities on the Human Rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories

GICJ Urgent Appeals on Palestine:


      GICJ Side-Events and oral statements on Palestine:

      Human Rights Council - 30th regular session (14 September - 2 October 2015)

      Human Rights Council - 29th regular session (15 June - 3 July 2015)

      Human Rights Council - 21st special session on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem (23 July 2014)

      Human Rights Council - 26th regular session (10 - 27 June 2014):

      Human Rights Council - 25th regular session (3 - 28 March 2014):

      Human Rights Council - 24th regular session (9 - 27 September 2013):

      Human Rights Council - 23rd regular session (27 May - 14 June 2013):

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