Ahead of UN Vote on Trump’s Jerusalem Move, Haley Warns Countries: ‘The US Will be Taking Names’

By Patrick Goodenough | December 20, 2017 | 4:30 AM EST

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley voted 'no' to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution attempting to rescind President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in New York on Monday, December 18, 2017. (Photo: U.S. Mission to the UN/Twitter)

(CNSNews.com) – As the United Nations prepares for another vote condemning President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley is warning countries that the U.S. will be taking note of how they vote.

In a post on Twitter, Haley implied that the U.S. expects countries that receive significant U.S. aid not to vote in favor of the resolution scheduled to come up for a vote on Thursday.

“At the UN we're always asked to do more & give more,” she tweeted. “So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we’ve helped to target us.”

“On Thurs. there’ll be a vote criticizing our choice,” Haley added. “The US will be taking names.”

Haley reportedly also sent emails to foreign governments informing them that as they consider their vote, “I want you to know that the President and U.S. take this vote personally.”

“The President will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us. We will take note of each and every vote on this issue,” she wrote, according to a copy of the email obtained by Foreign Policy.

Thursday’s vote will take place in the U.N. General Assembly, and comes four days after the U.S. vetoed a similar measure in the Security Council (UNSC) – casting the sole “no” vote in the 15-member body.

No country has veto power in the 193-member General Assembly, where the vote of the U.S. – which accounts for more than one-fifth of the U.N.’s regular budget each year – holds the same weight as that any other member-state, including the 135 countries that contribute less than 0.1 percent each.

Arab and Islamic states have requested Thursday’s special session of the General Assembly which will include a vote on a draft resolution declared “recent decisions regarding the status of Jerusalem” null and void and of no legal effect.

The Arab states are calling the meeting under the so-called “Uniting for Peace” mechanism. Based on a UNSC resolution (377) passed in 1950, it provides for an urgent General Assembly session in cases where the Security Council is not acting on matters viewed as threatening peace, because of differences among the five veto-wielding permanent members.

Only 10 such “emergency sessions” have been held since resolution 377 was passed almost seven decades ago.

Voting practices

The Palestinian issue is one of the U.N.’s most cherished causes, and the Jerusalem resolution will likely pass by an overwhelming majority.

Haley’s thinly-veiled warning to countries to consider their votes carefully calls to mind legislative initiatives aimed at making U.S. aid contingent on countries’ support for U.S. positions at the U.N.

Most recently, Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) introduced a resolution early last month “[t]o prohibit United States assistance to foreign countries that oppose the position of the United States in the United Nations.”

The measure defines opposing U.S. positions as voting in ways that coincide with the position of the U.S. less than 50 percent of the time during the most recent session of the General Assembly.

For countries that are also members of the Security Council, the definition is broadened to include their votes in both the General Assembly and UNSC.

Each year the State Department is mandated by law to report to Congress on voting practices at the U.N.

Over the past decade – the years 2007-2016 – the average voting coincidence with the U.S. in recorded General Assembly votes was 40.9 percent. That average ranged from a high of 54.8 percent in 2006 to a low of just 18.3 in 2007.

As CNSNews.com has reported, some of the biggest recipients of U.S. aid vote the same way as does the U.S. relatively seldom.

Of the ten countries accounting for the largest amounts of aid in FY 2017, nine voted the same way as the U.S. less than half of the time last year. Had legislation like Gohmert’s already been in force, none of the nine would have been eligible for U.S. aid (assuming the bill does allow for national security exceptions.)

(Chart: CNSNews.com/State Department)

Listed in reverse order of their voting coincidence with the U.S., the nine big aid beneficiaries are Egypt (33.8 percent voting coincidence with the U.S.), Tanzania (38.5 percent), Iraq (39.3 percent), Pakistan (40.5 percent), Jordan (42.9 percent), Kenya (44.7 percent), Nigeria (47.2 percent), Ethiopia (47.7 percent) and Afghanistan (47.8 percent).

The exception was Israel, whose votes matched those of the U.S. 94.3 percent of the time last year – tied with Canada as voting with the U.S. more than any other country .

In votes relating to Israel, the gap between the U.S. and most other countries was especially noticeable.

In 2016 the General Assembly adopted 18 condemnatory Israel-related resolutions which the U.S. opposed – usually joined by just a small handful of other countries, including Israel itself. (Others included Canada, Palau, Marshall Islands and Micronesia.)

Of the ten leading FY 2017 U.S. aid recipients, all except Israel voted the opposite way to the U.S. on every one of the 18 resolutions.


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Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow