UNITED NATIONS, Dec 20 (APP):Pakistan told the OIC Ambassadorial Group at the United Nations, which met Tuesday ahead of the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) special emergency session on Jerusalem Status, that it will fully support and co-sponsor a resolution calling for the withdrawal of US decision to recognize the holy city as Israel’s capital.
“Our support to the Palestinian cause and to the defence of al-Quds al Sharif is and has always been a core principle of Pakistan’s foreign policy,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, said in a speech to the 57-member group’s coordination meeting held to strategize its position for the 193-member Assembly’s special session.
“Our support remains unwavering,” she added.
Ambassador Lodhi recalled that the first-ever stand alone General Assembly resolution on Jerusalem, GA Resolution 2253, adopted on July 4, 1967 at an Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly, was led and sponsored by Pakistan.
Thursday’s special session, which will be General Assembly’s 10th, has been convened jointly by the Arab Group and OIC following the US veto of the UN Security Council resolution rejecting President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“The US veto (on Monday) of a resolution calling for withdrawal of the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was doubling down on an already dangerously misplaced strategy, in perhaps the most sensitive geopolitical hotspot in the world,” the Pakistani envoy said.
President Trump abruptly reversed decades of US policy when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, generating outrage from the Arab and Islamic world and even concern among Washington’s allies.
The draft resolution, submitted to the Assembly, affirms “that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
Trump also said he plans to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
The draft resolution calls upon all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.
“While the initial decision (US recognition of Israel) itself was dangerous, the veto attempted to legitimize a declaration that is already null and void, and lacks any legality,” the Pakistani envoy said, adding that the international community will not be complicit in an illegal act.
“This move undermines the international legal system and does not enable the Middle East to move in the direction of any revival of the peace process settlement,” the ambassador said.
“In fact,” she said, “it further destabilizes an already volatile and violent situation in the region.”
“Not only does it diminish the prospects of peace, but it will further embolden the occupying power into defiance,” The Pakistani envoy said. “It is therefore important for all of us in the global community to speak up in order to raise the political cost for the US for taking a wrong decision.”
Under a 1950 decision resolution, an emergency session can be called for the General Assembly to consider a matter “with a view to making appropriate recommendations to members for collective measures” if the Security Council fails to act.
Only 10 such sessions have been convened, and last time the General Assembly met was in 2009 on occupied Jerusalem and Palestinian territories. Thursday’ session will be resumption of that session.