Friday’s ceremonial acceptance of Israel paves the way for full membership in two years, a move that requires unanimous approval from the 20 member nations. Israel has been an “observer” at CERN since 1991. Associate membership will allow Israeli companies to bid on all research tenders.
Israel also will be able to attend all CERN meetings, and not only the open sessions that were allowed for attendance under the status of observer.
Ambassador Aharon Leshno-Yaar, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, signed the agreement on behalf of the government of Israel.
The agreement was the climax of a long process led by various Israel government ministries and must be ratified by the Knesset, where passage is guaranteed.
“The agreement is testimony to Europe's recognition of Israel's scientific and technological capabilities, of the quality of its scientists, and of its contribution throughout many years to the research activities of CERN,” said Ambassador Leshno-Yaar.
He added, “Today's signing ceremony is the conclusion of a long process and the beginning of a new one. It is a testimony of the recognition in Israel's scientific and technological capabilities, of the quality of its scientists, of its contribution throughout many years to the research activities of CERN and it is an additional building block in Israel's involvement in scientific projects in Europe. The history of Israel and CERN are intertwined almost since the inception of both. Along the years, Israel has contributed to CERN due to our deep appreciation to the role of CERN in Europe and the world."
Israeli Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, H.E. Mr. Aharon Leshno-Yaar and CERN Director General Rolf Heuer shake hands.