For the first time since Israel joined the UN, an Israeli diplomat has been chosen to chair a UN committee.

The 33-member Committee on Program and Coordination examines and approves the work plan for all UN agencies and bodies

 

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

For the first time since Israel became a member of the United Nations, an Israeli has been appointed to chair a UN committee. The committee – Committee on Program and Coordination (CPC) – examines and approves the work plan for all UN bodies and agencies for the next two years.

Since 1960, the committee has been meeting once a year, for a month-long session, submitting a report to the General Assembly and to the Economic and Social Council about UN activities, adjusted for the UN budget.

The committee is comprised of 33 member states, including some that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel, such as Indonesia, Iran and Cuba.

The director of the Israel Foreign Ministry’s UN Political Affairs Department, Mr. Ron Adam, was chosen to fill the position. Adam has been at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1990. He was a Counsellor at the Israeli delegation to the UN from 1998 to 2002. Since 2004 he has served as the director of the UN Political Affairs Department, in the Division for the United Nations and International Organizations, responsible for coordinating the work of the Israeli delegation to the UN. Last year, Adam served as the deputy chair of the CPC, representing the European Group.

Since Israel joined the Western Europe and Others Group (WEOG) in 2000, it has had the right to apply for positions on UN committees. Israel has also submitted its candidacy for membership on the Security Council for 2019, and it already sits on several important committees, among them the Committee for Sustainable Development and the Committee on Drugs and Crime. In addition to the 1952 General Assembly session in which Israeli statesman Abba Eban served as vice-president, Israelis have been deputy chairs a number of times:

– Tal Baker, deputy chair of the Sixth Committee (59th GA) in 2004
– Alon Bar, deputy chair of the First Committee (60th GA) in 2005
– Meir Yitzhaki, deputy chair of the Disarmament Committee at Geneva CD in 2004
– Ambassador Dan Gillerman, vice-president of the General Assembly (60th GA) in 2005

However, this is the first time that an Israeli has been chosen to chair a committee.

The 47th session of the Committee on Program and Coordination convened on 11 June and will adjourn on 7 July. During this month, the members will discuss the UN work plan for 2008-2009. After assuming the chair on 11 June, Adam thanked the outgoing chairperson, the ambassador of Jamaica to the UN, for the fine work that she accomplished during her term. The committee has three deputy chairs, from Belarus, Venezuela and Benin.

Current member states of the CPC include: Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, the Republic of Central Africa, China, Comoros, Cuba, France, Ghana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Pakistan, Portugal, Korea, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Switzerland, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, United States, and Israel.