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UN General Assembly to resume emergency special session on Middle East

UN General Assembly to resume emergency special session on Middle East

The United Nations General Assembly will resume tomorrow its tenth emergency special session to consider an agenda item on "illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory," a spokesman for the President of the 189-member body announced today.

Jan Fischer told reporters in New York that the meeting would be convened at the request of the Sudan, acting on behalf of the Arab Group of States, and of South Africa, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Responding to the requests, the Office of Assembly President Han Seung-soo of the Republic of Korea sent letters to all UN Member States informing them that the emergency special session would convene on Tuesday.

"Consultations are also going on regarding a draft resolution which is expected to be finalized some time this afternoon," Mr. Fischer said.

The Assembly's tenth emergency special session was first held in 1997 after the Security Council in two separate meetings failed to adopt a draft resolution on a new Israeli settlement south of East Jerusalem. Using the "Uniting for Peace" formula, a special emergency session of the General Assembly was convened in April and again in July and November of 1997. It also resumed in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001.

The "Uniting for Peace" procedure stems from a 1950 Assembly resolution resolving that "if the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures, including in the case of a breach of the peace or act of aggression the use of armed force when necessary, to maintain or restore international peace and security."