For the first time since its inception into the organization in 1949, Israel was elected on Monday to head a UN Legal Committee. Specifically, the Sixth Committee, which manages such issues as legal questions and fighting global terrorism. As Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon will chair the committee for the upcoming UN General Assembly (GA), reportedThe Times of Israel.
“I am proud to be the first Israeli elected to this position,” said Ambassador Danon upon his win. “Israel is a world leader in international law and in fighting terrorism. We are pleased to have the opportunity to share our knowledge with the countries of the world.”
The Western European and Others Group (WEOG) in the UN, whose turn it was to pick a chairman for the committee, nominated Danon for the job. Among the WEOG’s pro-Israel countries are Australia, Canada, and the United States. In 2000, Israel became a temporary member of the WEOG and joined permanently in December 2013.
According to The Times of Israel, the chair positions of the GA’s main committees are appropriated on a rotational basis and are typically confirmed without need for a vote. But in this particular case, Yemen, on behalf of the Arab Group, challenged Israel’s nomination and demanded a vote be held.
Despite months of behind-the-scenes diplomatic struggles and ferocious anti-Israel campaigning, however, 109 nations voted in favor of Danon’s appointment. (The election process only included votes that were cast for the particular candidate and did not include ‘nay’ votes.) The election was held via secret ballot in which all 193 members of the UN could vote.
“We will not allow dictatorships and anti-Israel countries to harm our standing in the international community,” said Danon. “We are a full member of the UN and any attempt to deny us of our legal rights in this organization will be met with uncompromising rejection.”
Ambassador Danon’s election received widespread support among many of the UN’s member states, led by the US and European countries, according to Ynet. Some of his supporters even took to social media to wish the Ambassador congratulations.
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