United Nations Security Council Resolution 478
The resolution was passed with 14 votes to none against, with the United States
Reception and criticism
Israel categorically rejected the resolution and its Foreign Ministry announced "It will not undermine the status of Jerusalem as the capital of a sovereign Israel and as a united city which will never again be torn apart".
The draft resolution before us today is illustrative of a preoccupation which has produced this series of unbalanced and unrealistic texts on Middle East issues. It fails to serve the goal of all faiths that look upon Jerusalem as holy. We must share a common vision of that ancient city's future—an undivided Jerusalem, with free access to the Holy Places for people of all faiths.
With respect to the section of the draft resolution relating to the transfer of embassies from Jerusalem, the Secretary of State said that the resolution was "fundamentally flawed" and that the U.S. considered that the instruction that states remove their diplomatic missions from Jerusalem, "not binding" and "without force", and that "we reject it as a disruptive attempt to dictate to other nations." He also said that the United States would forcefully resist any attempt to impose sanctions on Israel under Chapter VII
of the Charter.
Shlomo Slonim said that despite its forceful tone, Muskie's statement did not really elucidate the American position on Jerusalem. It made no reference to Jerusalem as an occupied territory, but neither did it deny such a status. He noted that America's policy regarding Jerusalem at the end of 1980 continued to be marked by a considerable degree of ambiguity and confusion.
Decisions regarding illegal situations
Two of the decisions contained in the resolution concerned the illegality of the Basic Law Jerusalem and violations of the Geneva Convention which are regarded as serious violations of customary international law.
The Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs is a legal publication, which analyzes and records the decisions of the UN organs.
It states that the decisions were adopted by the Security Council acting on behalf of the members under Article 24.
Although they were not adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter, the organization considers determinations regarding illegal situations to be binding upon all of its members.
The Repertory says: "The question whether Article 24 confers general powers on the Security Council ceased to be a subject of discussion following the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice rendered on 21 June 1971 in connection with the question of Namibia (ICJ Reports, 1971, page 16)."
Full text of Resolution 478
Reaffirming again that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible,
Deeply concerned over the enactment of a "basic law" in the Israeli Knesset
proclaiming a change in the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem
, with its implications for peace and security,
Noting that Israel has not complied with resolution 476 (1980),
Reaffirming its determination to examine practical ways and means, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations
, to secure the full implementation of its resolution 476 (1980), in the event of non-compliance by Israel,
1. Censures in the strongest terms the enactment by Israel of the "basic law" on Jerusalem and the refusal to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions;
2. Affirms that the enactment of the "basic law" by Israel constitutes a violation of international law and does not affect the continued application of the Geneva Convention
relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in the Palestinian
and other Arab
territories occupied since June 1967, including Jerusalem;
3. Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the recent "basic law" on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith;
4. Affirms also that this action constitutes a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;
5. Decides not to recognize the "basic law" and such other actions by Israel that, as a result of this law, seek to alter the character and status of Jerusalem and calls upon:
(a) All Member States to accept this decision;
(b) Those States that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City;
6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the implementation of the present resolution before 15 November 1980;
7. Decides to remain seized of this serious situation.
- ^ A/RES/2253(ES-V)
- ^ A/RES/2254(ES-V)
- ^ "S/RES/476 (1980)". UNSC resolution. un.org. 30 June 1980. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- ^ "Israel Says UN Resolution Will Not Affect Jerusalem's Status As Capital". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- ^ See S/PV.2245(OR) paragraph 111.
- ^ Muskie was talking about the draft resolution before it was adopted. See S/PV.2245(OR) paragraph 106.
- ^ Slonim, Shlomo (1998). Jerusalem in America's foreign policy, 1947–1997. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 246. ISBN 978-90-411-1039-8.
- ^ See for example S/PV.2245(OR) paragraph 19 and 77.
- ^ General Assembly resolution 686 (VII), "Ways And Means For Making The Evidence Of Customary International Law More Readily Available" mandated that a reportery of the practice of the UN organs be prepared by the Secretariat units concerned
- ^ a b For example, The Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs, Article 24, Supplement No 6 (1979–1984), volume 3 indicates the Council was acting on behalf of the members when it formally declared illegal legislative and administrative measures invalid in resolution 478. See Note 2 on Page 1 and page listings on pages 12, 19, 24, 25, 26, 29, and 30 
- ^ See Judge Higgins response to the question contained in General Assembly resolution ES-10/14 in her Separate Advisory Opinion, paras 22 and 38:"Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 January 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2010.; and De Waart, Paul J. I. M., "International Court of Justice Firmly Walled in the Law of Power in the Israeli–Palestinian Peace Process", Leiden Journal of International Law, 18 (2005), pp. 467–487, especially 474, and 485–486
- ^ Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian TerritoryArchived 6 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine. International Court of Justice.
Last edited on 21 February 2021, at 16:35
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