Fourteen of the UN Security Council’s 15 members approved a motion to condemn US President Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. The US vetoed the resolution and even went so far as to threaten other members of the council saying their act “would not be forgotten”. Mr. Trudeau has said Canada wants to join the Security Council, but he must be happy we aren’t there yet… read more….
UNITED NATIONS—The United States on Monday vetoed a resolution supported by all 14 other UN Security Council members that would have required U.S. President Donald Trump to rescind his declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. According to the Toronto Star, the vote showed the depth of global opposition to the U.S. move.
According to the British newspaper the Guardian, the unanimity of the rest of the council was a stark rebuke to the Trump administration over its unilateral move earlier this month, which upended decades of international consensus.
Canada: Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil
The unanimity of opposition to the US should serve as a warning shot to Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who, almost alone among our western allies, had carefully avoided any criticism of Trump’s move. The vote is also an awkward reminder to Canada that, if it is successful in its bid to join the UNSC, it will be quickly confronted by tough choices.
The UK and France had indicated in advance that they would would back the resolution, which demanded that all countries comply with pre-existing UNSC resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, including requirements that the city’s final status be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
The US reaction was immediate and harsh. US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, described it as “an insult” that would not be forgotten. “The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy!,” she thundered.
Relief in Ottawa??
Canada has a dedicated unit at the Global Affairs department whose job it is to ensure Canada gets elected to the UN Security Council next year. Getting there is an uphill battle as Canada has already isolated itself from the UN General membership over the Israel/Palestine issue on several occasions, including several votes in early December.
But if we were to be successful in our attempt to join that select body, we will increasingly forced to make some hard choices – between our support of Israel and our desire to be seen to support human rights and international law around the world.
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