Israel is used to being on the defensive at the United Nations where it is often outnumbered by its foes, but on Thursday its delegation at UN headquarters in New York scored a rare diplomatic victory.
For the first time ever Israel took a seat on the executive board of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), a top UN organization with a budget of about one billion dollars.
“This is a milestone in Israel’s integration to the global agenda of the UN,” said Israel's Deputy Permanent Representative Haim Waxman. “Furthermore, this is the expression of a journey that we have taken from being a developing nation born in adversity to becoming a developed nation, a member of the OECD and now a full member of the UNDP as a representative of the West.”
The UNDP supports a myriad of projects in 177 nations working on, welfare, women empowerment issues. Israel was voted to its executive board as a representative of the Western voting bloc which includes the US, Holland, Australia, Germany, Japan and others. Its new position on the board will it a voice in setting the UNDP’s agenda and deciding on its budget.
Waxman said Israel was proud to be a member of the organization and will use its technological and agricultural know-how to help developing nations. In addition, he said the Jewish state would make women empowerment one of its top agendas.