(CNSNews.com) – The U.N. General Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution by 128 votes to nine declaring President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void,” after Trump implicitly warned countries that U.S. foreign aid could be in jeopardy depending on their vote.
Before the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley warned again that while it will make no difference to the president’s policy decision it “will make a difference on how Americans look at the U.N., and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the U.N.”
The nine “no” votes came from the United States, Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo.
Presented by Turkey and Yemen, the resolution expressed “deep regret” at the Jerusalem decision, declared it to be of no legal effect, said it “must be rescinded,” and demanded that all states “comply” with U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Thirty-five countries abstained, with six European Union member-states – Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Romania – breaking E.U. consensus (along with Bosnia, not an E.U. member).
Of the 16 biggest recipients of U.S. assistance in fiscal year 2017, all voted in favor of the resolution except for Israel (which voted “no”) and Colombia and Uganda (which abstained). Three others, Ukraine, Kenya and Zambia, did not vote.
Warnings from Trump and Haley that the U.S. was taking careful note of how countries vote did not appear to have made a significant difference to voting decisions.
Pacific island nations have frequently in the past backed the U.S. in lopsided votes relating to Israel, as have Guatemala and Honduras on occasion.
Of note, however, was Togo’s decision to vote against the resolution, despite being a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a bloc long hostile towards Israel. Togo is not a major recipient of U.S. aid.
The U.S. and Israel will be disappointed that Australia and Canada chose to abstain rather than vote against the text. Canada in particular has traditionally supported the U.S. in votes relating to Israel: In 18 UNGA resolutions condemning Israel last year and opposed by the U.S., Canada voted against all 18. Australia voted against seven.
The decisions of major U.S. aid recipients Ukraine , Kenya and Zambia not to vote may have been related to Trump’s warnings. Also, Mali at the last minute withdrew its name from the list of co-sponsors (although it did vote in favor.)
On the other hand, 35 countries added their names to the list of co-sponsors, the secretariat announced just before the vote.
They were mostly OIC states, along with Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador and Venezuela. Also among the co-sponsors were six of the biggest FY 2017 U.S. aid recipients – Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan and South Africa.
Before the vote, Haley again emphasized that the U.S. will be taking into account how countries vote when called on in future to give more.
“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” she told the General Assembly.
“We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations. And we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”
“America will put our embassy in Jerusalem. That is what the American people want us to do, and it is the right thing to do,” Haley said. “No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that.”
“But this vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the U.N. and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the U.N. And this vote will be remembered.”
U.S. taxpayers account for 22 percent of the U.N. regular budget in “assessed contributions” and provide billions of dollars more each year in “voluntary contributions.”
The U.S. also contributes almost 28.5 percent of the separate U.N. peacekeeping budget.