The conference, in the framework of the UN’s International Year of Deserts and Desertification is to take place in November 2006, and will foster international recognition of Israel as a leading country in the international campaign against desertification.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

The UN General Assembly welcomed Israel’s initiative in combating desertification. It is not often that the UN General Assembly welcomes Israeli initiatives, and this is therefore an important achievement for the International Organizations Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israel’s Mission at the UN. In all, 83 countries supported the resolution amendment, while 34 countries opposed it, with 30 abstaining.

Israel’s initiative focuses on the General Assembly’s resolution which defines 2006 as the International Year of Deserts and Desertification, and calls for the heightening of public awareness concerning the harsh economic and social implications of the desertification process around the world.

The amendment to the resolution on the International Year of Deserts and Desertification praises the government of Israel for its readiness to host an international conference with the theme, "Deserts and Desertification: Challenges and Opportunities." The conference is due to take place in November 2006, and will foster international recognition of Israel as a leading country in the international campaign against desertification. 

Desertification is a worldwide phenomenon that is expressed through the ecological imbalance between natural resources and their consumption. The desertification process is brought about when the consumption of natural resources exceeds the availability and supply of these resources. Arid regions will be more vulnerable to desertification than regions where there is abundant precipitation.

The Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research in the Negev is considered the leading institutions around the world in desertification research. The Institute runs a unique programme for graduates in the field of desert study.

Text of amendment:

"Sixtieth session
Second Committee
Agenda item 52 (g)
Sustainable development: implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa

Israel: amendment to draft resolution A/C.2/60/L.34

International Year of Deserts and Desertification, 2006

Following the fifth preambular paragraph, insert a new preambular paragraph, to read:

“Welcoming also the decision of the Government of Israel to host, in cooperation with other stakeholders, an international conference entitled ‘Deserts and Desertification: Challenges and Opportunities’ in Be’er Sheva, Israel, in November 2006.”