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77 Statement by Hood in Ad Hoc Political Committee

Extract, [NEW YORK], 24 November 1949

I turn in more detail to the resolution now before the Committee. Its basic intention is perfectly clear; that is, that the Assembly should not accept any derogation in substance from the 1947 resolution as worked out in detail by the Trusteeship Council in the Statute for Jerusalem. The Statute presents a feasible and in every historical need, an acceptable form of government for Jerusalem and the holy places surrounding it. The reason which has led us to look beyond the proposals of the Conciliation Commission is that more than simply the protection of the Holy Places is required, and that, in fact, the proposals of the Commission might not ensure even this, because they leave too much to the continuing co-operation of the suggested administrations for the Jewish and Arab sectors of the City. The machinery proposed by the Commission amounts in the last resort to little more than the co-ordination, probably the uneasy co-ordination, of civic services, of which the sole end would be the protection of and access to the Holy Places. On the contrary, the whole historical religious interest in Jerusalem points to paramount international control of the whole area. The means have been elaborated once; they can be done so again if necessary. But no considerations of a national kind, however understandable, will be able to stand in the way of the ultimate outcome.

The resolution does not seek at this stage to impose the Statute prepared by the Trusteeship Council. This might be dangerous for two reasons. First, events subsequent to its original drafting might dictate inevitable alterations as to detail; second, it would be inappropriate to attempt to lay down detailed administrative arrangements for Jerusalem, while the boundaries between the Israeli and any Arab State have not yet been determined or approved by the United Nations. An international regime for Jerusalem will function effectively only with a stable territorial settlement, and the two problems are therefore to an extent related. We propose only therefore, that the reconstituted Conciliation Commission should have power to institute such interim machinery as it may think fit to enable the United Nations to assume its proper authority in the Jerusalem area, until such time as the boundaries have been settled, and a detailed plan for Jerusalem, framed on the principles of 1947, can be submitted to the General Assembly by the Commission.

We propose that the size of the Conciliation Commission should be increased from a membership of three to one of seven. The following are our reasons for this suggestion:

In our view, the present Commission is insufficiently representative of the members of the United Nations. In its work, particularly on Jerusalem, the Commission must be able to represent more amply the undoubted weight of world opinion. In relation to Jerusalem the breadth of this support may indeed be absolutely vital to the success of the United Nations in convincing the Governments concerned of the overwhelming feelings of the members of the United Nations. Moreover, my delegation and, I think, others, have often had the feeling during this past year, that the Conciliation Commission was not functioning in a manner which has become customary for United Nations Commissions of this kind, in that it appeared to be representing Governments in a process of diplomatic negotiation, rather than the United Nations in a process of conciliation such as was contemplated, and welcomed, in the Paris resolution. Further, there is nothing before the Committee to show that the Commission has succeeded in carrying out the instructions in paragraph 8 of Resolution [194][1](III) to 'present to the 4th regular Session of the General Assembly detailed proposals for a permanent international regime for the Jerusalem area'.[2]

[1] The text reads '273'.

[2] For a summary of the resolution see editorial note between Documents 68 and 69.

[AA : A1838, 851/12/8, I]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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