Israel Celebrates Passage of its First UN Resolution

Israel successfully passed its first resolution ever at the UN – albeit one having nothing to do with politics or the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Ezra HaLevi ,

The United Nations building in NY
The United Nations building in NY

Israel has successfully passed its first resolution ever at the United Nations – albeit one having nothing to do with politics or the Israeli-Arab conflict.

The resolution encourages able nations of the world to develop farming technology for developing countries.

The resolution was passed by the UN General Assembly's Second Committee, dealing with development issues. There were 118 votes in favor and 29 abstentions, with no opposing votes. The resolution will be brought before the full General Assembly next week.

"For Israel, this is a very dramatic development, and an historic day at the UN," Ambassador Dan Gillerman told reporters. "It is the very first time that Israel initiates and authors and submits a resolution which has nothing to do with the conflict. It is not easy for Israel to have its resolutions and its points of view adopted," he added. "This makes Israel a much more normal and acceptable member of the UN. One of our main aims is to not be a one issue country and to bring awareness of Israel's excellence to the world."

Included in the 29 abstentions were South Africa and 19 Arab states present – though not including Muslim Afghanistan and Pakistan, who voted in favor. Iran did not take part in the vote. The abstentions came from Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, Darussalam, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Gillerman slammed South Africa for its stance. "This was a shameful mistake for a country that considers itself to be the leader of Africa," he said. “They sent out the wrong message.” Africa stands to be the main beneficiary of the resolution.

Palestinian Authority United Nations representative Riyad Mansour criticized the move, telling Reuters that Israel was "trying to score political points" and had rejected a move that would have obscured the Jewish state as the author of the resolution in favor of its presentation as a “consensus resolution.” He also criticized Gillerman for "lashing out" at South Africa, which he termed "a country that no one can question their integrity with regard to justice and doing the right thing," according to Inner City News of S. Africa.