Israel to Pursue UN Security Council Seat for 2019-2020

October 4, 2013

2 min read

UN Security Council

‘Son of man, I have appointed thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; and when thou shalt hear a word at My mouth, thou shalt give them warning from Me. (Ezekiel 3:17)

UN Security Council
Israel has announced its intention to run for a rotating seat on the United Nations Security Council for the years 2019 an 2020. (Photo: Bernd Untiedt/Wikimedia Commons)

Israel announced on Thursday that it plans on running for a rotating seat in the United Nation’s Security Council for the first time ever, according to the Jerusalem Post. UN diplomats have reportedly warned the Jewish State that winning the election will be an uphill battle.

“We’re going all out to win,” Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor told Reuters. “It’s about time.”

Prosor said Israel will be vying against Germany and Belgium for two seats allotted to the “Western European and Others Group.” Technically Israel should be a member of the Asia-Pacific Group along with the other states in the Middle East. But predominantly Muslim states blocked its admission to that group.

In 2000 Israel was admitted to the Western European and Others Group, which includes the United States, on a temporary basis. In 2004 its membership in that group was permanently renewed.

Israel has held posts at the UN before, such as serving as vice president of the UN General Assembly, though none as significant as one in the UNSC.

Securing a council seat will not be easy, UN diplomats say. Most members of the 120 non-aligned bloc of developing nations are either cool or openly hostile towards Israel. General Assembly votes on issues related to Israel and the Palestinians are usually unfavorable for the Israelis.

In November 2012, a General Assembly vote on a Palestinian bid to gain implicit recognition of statehood by upgrading its UN observer status to that of “non-member state” – something the Israelis strongly opposed – highlighted how isolated Israel can be at the United Nations. There were 138 votes in favor of the Palestinian request, 41 abstentions and only nine against.

There are 10 rotating Security Council members who serve for two years at a time. Each year five rotating members are replaced. The five permanent veto-wielding members are the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

General Assembly elections for next year’s Security Council will be on October 17.

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