(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
Jerusalem: Monday, May 29, 2000
[IMRA: Israel will not be able to be a member of the Security Council and
agreed not to nominate anyone for positions for two years. IMRA understands
that the second restriction is not relevant since no positions are open for
considerably more than two years]
May 26, 2000 marked the end of four decades of discrimination and
injustice. In a letter from the Netherlands Ambassador to the UN,
Peter Van Walsum, to the Israel Ambassador in the UN, Yehuda Lankry,
the Dutch diplomat (who is also the current Chairman of WEOG),
informed his Israeli counterpart that Israel has been accepted as a
full member of the group.
Recently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stepped up its diplomatic
activity at the UN headquarters in New York and in various capitals
around the world in order to bring about Israel's acceptance to the
'Western European and Others Group' of the UN. Following contacts,
meetings and discussions lasting many months, and after Foreign
Minister Levy's talks with representatives of the western states in
New York during mid-May of this year, the WEOG states (western
Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand)
accepted the position of Israel's representatives and agreed to
recognize Israel as a full member of the group.
Israeli diplomacy was thus successful in putting an end to an absurd
situation, which cast a shadow on the entire United Nations
organization. This most recent development constitutes a historic
turning point and a normalization of Israel's status in the UN, in
spite of ongoing Arab pressure to undermine the move.
At the beginning of the 1960's, the UN members organized themselves
in regional groups for consultation purposes and in order to expedite
the election of UN member states to institutions of the organization.
Due to discrimination, bias, and the opposition of certain groups,
(such as the former Eastern bloc and the group of Arab and Islamic
states) Israel was the only state to be left outside of the regional
group framework. As a result, Israel was denied the right to vote and
to be elected to UN institutions, and was unable to participate in
political and professional consultations within the framework of the
UN and its agencies.
Following the progress in the peace process, Israel renewed its
efforts to change this situation.
Israel wishes to thank the governments of the WEOG states and, in
particular, the United States government for their welcome decision.
Israel also wish to convey its appreciation to President Clinton,
Secretary of State Albright and US Ambassador to the UN, Richard
Holbrooke, for their firm support for its position.
Finally, the Israeli Foreign Ministry wishes to thank its
representatives around the world and Foreign Ministry officials in
Jerusalem who worked tirelessly to bring this important diplomatic
achievement to fruition.