Israel won a rare diplomatic victory Friday in the UN, where it sponsored a resolution for entrepreneurship. The Arabs voted ‘No,” but the resolution passed in the UN Economic and Financial Committee, also known as the Second Committee by a lopsided 129-31 vote.
There were no reported explanations why the Arab countries voted against the resolution, which was passed one week after the General Assembly overwhelmingly rejected American objections and granted the Palestinian Authority Non-Member Observer status. The vote was a de facto confirmation of the PA’s violating the Oslo Accords by affirming PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' territorial and political demands without an agreement with Israel.
The vote on the “Entrepreneurship for Development” resolution was the first time the UN officially stated that entrepreneurship is a critical development tool.
While the Arab bloc’s opposition was clear message to the international body that it is against anything that Israel sponsors, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor said the committee had sent “a clear and simple message: Entrepreneurship is a primary pathway to sustainable economic growth for all.”
The Israeli-initiated resolution was co-sponsored by 97 countries.
“Israel, and all the other co-sponsors, hoped for consensus on this resolution,” told the UN. “Every country—every country—benefits from empowering its entrepreneurs.
"Unfortunately, the Arab Group announced that it would vote against this resolution even before the negotiations ended.
“What a shame. Few places could benefit from entrepreneurship more than the Arab world. People across the Arab world have risen up precisely because they are looking for change. They are demanding better lives, better economies, and better governance.
“They are demanding an end to the rampant corruption, discrimination against women, and economic stagnation in their region.
“But the Arab delegations here today – like their governments – have not responded to these calls. Instead, by voting against this resolution, they have turned their backs on their own people – and tried to turn back the clock on the important work of this committee.”
Prosor added, “Every Arab delegate who voted 'no' is sending the message that he cares far more about petty politics than human prosperity. This resolution can bring innovation to those who need it most. It can move humanity forward. And we should not allow certain delegations in this hall to move it backwards.”
Prosor pointed out to the UN that Israel has proven that human resources are the Jewish state’s greatest natural resource, having developed it into a start-up country.
“We have moved from cultivating apples to designing Apple Computers, from harvesting oranges to building Orange mobile phones,” he said.
“We have more start-ups per capita than any nation on the planet. Tel Aviv was even recently named the second most entrepreneurship-friendly city in the world,” the Ambassador added.
“Israel's story shows that if you want stability, empower your people. If you want prosperity, invest in your citizens. And if you want sustainability, engage every member of society – especially women and youth.”