The United Nations General Assembly termed "null and void" the United States' decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Defying President Donald Trump, over 120 countries on Thursday voted in favour of a UNGA resolution calling for the US to drop its recent announcement. The motion was adopted by a decisive vote of 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions, whereas 21 countries abstained.
The vote, while a victory for the Palestinians, was significantly lower than its supporters had hoped for, with many forecasting at least 150 “yes” votes.Seven countries — Guatemala, Honduras, Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and the Marshall Islands — joined Israel and the United States in opposing the measure.Argentina, Australia, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Mexico, the Philippines, Romania and Rwanda were among the 35 countries that abstained.
Ukraine, which supported the draft resolution at the Security Council, was among 21 countries that did not turn up for the vote.The measure was sent to the General Assembly after it was vetoed by the US at the Security Council on Monday, although all other 14 council members voted in favour.“The United States will remember this day,” US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Assembly.
“America will put our embassy in Jerusalem,” Haley said. “No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that," she added."But this vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN,” she said.“When we make generous contributions to the UN we also have a legitimate expectation that our goodwill is recognised and respected,” she added.While resolutions by the General Assembly are non-binding, a strong vote in support carries political weight.US President Donald Trump had warned ahead of the vote in the 193-nation assembly that “we are watching” and threatened reprisals against countries that back the measure.(UNI)