Commission informs SecGen of Israel moving MoFA to Jerusalem – UNCCP – Chairman’s Letter to the SecGen


Letter dated 2 September 1953 addressed to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations by the
Chairman of the Conciliation Commission for Palestine


I have the honour to refer to your letter of 16 July 1953 concerning the question of the transfer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Commission would like to draw your attention to the position it has adopted in the past on the question of the transfer of Ministries of the Israel Government to Jerusalem, in the light of the special status accorded that city by the relevant decisions of the General Assembly.

As will be recalled, the General Assembly resolution of 11 December 1948 instructed the Conciliation Commission “to present to the fourth regular session of the General Assembly detailed proposals for a permanent international regime for the Jerusalem area … consistent with the special international status of the area”. Accordingly, the Commission devoted seven months of intensive effort towards the preparation of the draft text of an instrument establishing an international regime for the Jerusalem area during which time all the interested parties were consulted. This text was transmitted to the Secretary-General on 1 September 1949 for submission to the fourth session of the General Assembly.

During the course of this work the Commission, having been informed that the Government of Israel proposed to transfer certain of its Ministries and Departments to Jerusalem, addressed, on 30 March 1949, a letter to the Prime Minister of Israel pointing out that such a measure would be incompatible with paragraph 8 of the General Assembly resolution of 11 December 1948 which resolved that the Jerusalem area should be accorded special and separate treatment from the rest of Palestine and should be placed under effective United Nations control The Principal Secretary of the Commission, on 11 April 1949, informed the Secretary-General of the action taken by the Commission.

During its fourth regular session the General Assembly, having received the Commission's draft instrument for the international regime of Jerusalem transferred to the Trusteeship Council the responsibility for completing the statute for internationalization of Jerusalem and proceeding with its implementation.

In its report to the Secretary-General dated 2 September 1950 for transmission to the Members of the United Nations, the Conciliation Commission advised the Assembly that “with the presentation to the General Assembly of its proposals regarding the establishment of an international regime for Jerusalem the responsibilities of the Commission under paragraph 8 of resolution 194 (III) were fulfilled.”

Having studied the situation created by the transfer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Israel Government from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Commission can only recall the position already adopted by it in the above mentioned letter dated 30 March 1949.

Accept, Sir, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

Semih Baran

Chairman, United Nations Conciliation Commission

for Palestine

His Excellency,

Mr. Dag Hammarskjold,


United Nations,

New York, N.Y.

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