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        General Assembly
13 May 1948

Original: FRENCH




Rapporteur: Mr. R. GARREAU (France)

On several occasions the General Assembly’s attention has been drawn to the importance of the problem of Jerusalem in the Palestine question. A great number of the religious buildings and sites in Palestine are concentrated in the city of Jerusalem or its immediate vicinity. The Holy City is a symbol of the highest significance to the faithful adherents throughout the world of three great religions, Judaism, Muhammadanism and Christianity. The question of Jerusalem is not therefore a purely material or local question; it is of great spiritual and universal significance.

These circumstances explain the fact that on 23 April the First Committee adopted a French proposal amended by Sweden (A/C.1/281 dated 23 April) in which it asked the Trusteeship Council to study in consultation with the Mandatory Power and the interested parties suitable measures for the protection of the City and its inhabitants. The Trusteeship Council as a result held several meetings and on 5 May submitted its report to the Assembly (A/544 of 5 May). The main feature of this report was the recommendation, adopted at the suggestion of Great Britain, that the Mandatory Power should appoint a neutral Municipal Commissioner for Jerusalem acceptable to both Arabs and Jews.

The Assembly adopted the resolution proposed in the Trusteeship Council’s report (A/545 dated 6 May). But at the same time it adopted an Australian resolution which requested the First Committee to study the supplementary measures which could be taken for Jerusalem. It was in virtue of these terms of reference that the First Committee on 11 May appointed Sub-Committee 10 to make preparations for carrying them out. It also decided that this Sub-Committee should include the members of the Trusteeship Council and also the representatives of Brazil, Iran and Sweden.

Sub-Committee 10 held six meetings. It appointed the representative of Sweden as Chairman, the representative of Iran as Vice-Chairman and the representative of France as Rapporteur.

Two important documents were placed before it. In document A/C.1/SC.10/2 of 12 May, the United Kingdom representative informed the Sub-Committee of an order of the municipal government of Jerusalem dated 11 May by which the Jerusalem Municipal Commissioner to be nominated by the High Commissioner or by the United Nations might take any action and give any directions which in his discretion he deemed appropriate for the administration of Jerusalem.

For their part, the representatives of the United States and France presented a joint proposal for a temporary international regime for Jerusalem based on Chapter XII of the Charter (A/C.1/SC.10/l of 11 May). The central idea of this proposal was to entrust the protection of Jerusalem and its inhabitants temporarily to the responsibility of a United Nations Commissioner nominated by the United Nations and placed under the supreme authority of the Trusteeship Council.

The Sub-Committee discussed this document at length. First in a general discussion the representatives exchanged their points of view on the principle of the proposal; later they heard representatives of the Jewish Agency and the Arab Higher Committee.

The Franco-American proposal was then examined by the Sub-Committee article by article. A number of amendments were proposed and in general accepted by the authors of the plan. The two most important ones were the following: the Mexican delegate proposed that express mention be made of the fundamental human freedoms necessary under the special system; wording to this effect was incorporated in Article 7 of the revised text (A/C.1/SC.10/1/Rev.1 of 12 May); in addition, to accommodate both the point of view of the United Kingdom and that of the Trusteeship Council’s report previously adopted by the Assembly, a paragraph (2) was inserted in Article 4 specifying that “the Jerusalem Municipal Commissioner, appointed in accordance with the recommendation of the General Assembly of 6 May 1948, should continue to exercise his functions under the authority of the United Nations Commissioner”.

The text of the Franco-American proposal, revised in this form, was submitted to the Sub-Committee on the morning of 13 May and discussed at length for a second time article by article.

To meet the concern expressed by the United Kingdom representative the United States representative added an article on the financial implications of the proposal. A number of other amendments having been introduced at the request of other delegates, a vote was taken on the revised document.

The voting was as follows:

Sub-Committee 10 therefore recommends to the First Committee the adoption of the following resolution for the Temporary Administration of Jerusalem:


WHEREAS the territory known as Palestine has been administered by the Government of the United Kingdom under a mandate assigned by the Principal Allied Powers and confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations; and

WHEREAS Jerusalem as hereinafter defined contains many holy Places scared to Christians, Jews and Moslems alike; and

WHEREAS the Mandate will be terminated on 15 May 1948; and

WHEREAS it is imperative that pending a final settlement of the Palestine problem Jerusalem be protected; and

WHEREAS Chapter XII of the Charter authorizes and empowers the United Nations to exercise such temporary authority;

NOW THEREFORE the General Assembly of the United Nations hereby decides that temporary authority in Jerusalem shall from 15 May 1948 be exercised in accordance with the terms of the following Articles;

Article 1

The "town planning area" of Jerusalem as defined under the Town Planning Ordinance No. 28 of 1936, and hereinafter referred to as Jerusalem is hereby placed temporarily under the authority of the United Nations.

Article 2

The United Nations is hereby as the administering authority for Jerusalem. The Trusteeship Council, operating under the authority of the General Assembly, shall exercise the functions of the administering authority.

Article 3

The administering authority shall have full powers of administration, legislation, and jurisdiction over Jerusalem which shall be exercised through the agency of the government of Jerusalem as hereinafter provided.

Article 4

1. The Government of Jerusalem shall consist of a United Nations commissioner and such officers as may be appointed by him or by the United Nations assisted to the fullest extent possible by such organs of self-government as in the opinion of the United Nations Commissioner will meet with cooperation from the various communities of Jerusalem.

2. The Jerusalem Municipal Commissioner, appointed in accordance with the recommendation of the General Assembly of 6 May 1948, shall continue to exercise his functions under the authority of the United Nations Commissioner.

3. The United Nations Commissioner shall be appointed by and may be removed by the Trusteeship Council.

4. The United Nations Commissioner shall be subject to the instructions of the Trusteeship Council. He is hereby invested with full powers to administer Jerusalem in accordance with the provisions of these articles and the terms of the charter of the United Nations.

Article 5

1. The United Nations commissioner shall be responsible for the organizations and direction of a police force necessary for the maintenance of internal law and order, which may be recruited from within or from outside Jerusalem.

2. Pending the organization of the force provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article, the Trusteeship Council shall take such steps as may be appropriate for the maintenance of internal law and order.

Article 6

1. The territorial integrity of Jerusalem and its status as defined in these articles shall be assured by the United Nations.

2. The United Nations Commissioner may organize volunteer forces from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem to provide for local defense and to assist in the maintenance of internal low and order.

3. In the event that the United Nations commissioner is unable, though the use of the force provided in Article 5 or the force provided in paragraph 2 of this Article, to maintain the territorial integrity of Jerusalem against an act or threat of aggression, he shall request the Secretary-General to bring the matter to the immediate attention of the Security council.

4. The United Nations Commissioner shall make the necessary arrangements to ensure free access to Jerusalem for persons, foodstuffs and other essential supplies, and the maintenance of the water supply and other essential services.

Article 7

1. all persons within Jerusalem shall enjoy freedom of conscience and shall, subject only to the requirements of public order, public morals and public health, enjoy all other human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion and worship language, education, speech and press, assembly and association, and petition (including petition to the Trusteeship Council).

2. No discrimination of any kind on grounds of race, religion, language or sex shall be made against any person within Jerusalem.

Article 8

1. The United Nations Commissioner shall, under the authority of the Trusteeship Council, assure the protection of and free access to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites within Jerusalem, as well as of educational and cultural establishments and charitable institutions and hospitals, the rights of which will be maintained as they were before the termination of the Mandate.

2. Subject only to the requirements of public order and security and of public morals and public health, the united Nations Commissioner shall ensure freedom of entry into and of temporary residence in, Jerusalem to all pilgrims without any distinction as to nationality or faith.

Article 9

The temporary authority of the United Nations in Jerusalem shall be exercised in accordance with Article 76 of the charter and be without prejudice to the rights, claims or position of the parties concerned in Jerusalem or to the final settlement of the Palestine problem.

Article 10

1. The Trusteeship Council shall immediately make plans for the raising of revenues for Jerusalem

2. Expenditures for Jerusalem shall be covered as far as possible by local revenues, provided that the salary and employment's of the United Nations commissioner, and such other officers as may be appointed by the Trusteeship Council, shall be paid from a special United Nations operational budget. In addition, the cost of maintaining the police who may be recruited from outside Jerusalem, if not covered by local revenues, shall be provided for by means to be determined by the Trusteeship Council. Such funds as are deemed by the United Nations commissioner and the Trusteeship Council essential to accomplish the provisions of this arrangement and which cannot be raised by the Government of Jerusalem, shall be provided by the United Nations, either through subsidies or through loans repayable from future revenues of Jerusalem.

Article 11

In accordance with Article 2, paragraph 5 of the Charter, all Members shall five the administering authority every assistance in making these Articles effective.

Article 12

This special arrangement shall terminate upon 30 December 1949 unless otherwise determined by the General Assembly.


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