Following the meeting, a ceremony was held honoring Chief Superintendent Meira Shehori, the first Israel Police officer to serve in a UN peacekeeping force.
(Communicated by the Deputy FM’s Bureau)
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny’s Ayalon metthis morning (7 May 2009) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Mr. Alain Le Roy, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.
After the meeting, the Deputy FM said that "The main issue that was discussed was the continued implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. We expect more decisive action to disarm Hizbullah and to prevent it from acquiring weapons."
On the issue of Ghajar, Ayalon said that it is part of the Israeli government policy review. "We are looking into all the issues involved and will announce the decision as soon as it is made," Ayalon said.
Mr. Le Roy also spoke about Ghajar and mentioned that there were uggestions discussed but he is awaiting the Israeli government’s decision. He hoped there will be a decision which will provide security for the region. "We have much more to do in Lebanon," Le Roy said..
Deputy FM Ayalon: "We are not only a client but a contributor to UN peacekeeping."
Following the meeting, a ceremony was held at which the Deputy Foreign Minister made a presentation to Chief Superintendent Meira Shehori, the first Israel Police officer to serve in the United Nations peacekeeping forces.
In June 2008, an Israeli police officer was sent, for the first time, on a peace mission as part of the UN peacekeeping force in Georgia. After a successful tour of duty, the officer, Chief Superintendent Meira Shehori – having faithfully represented Israel, fulfilling her job and winning esteem and even a medal for her work – returned to Israel.
Shehori’s successful tour of duty signifies an historic breakthrough, paving the way for Israel to be included, for the first time, in the UN’s cadre of officers and soldiers serving in peacekeeping missions worldwide. Israel has thus "joined the club" of about 125 Troops-Contributing Countries (TCC).
The UN and the entire international community view the peacekeeping forces and preserving the peace in conflict areas as the central and most important of all UN activities. Accordingly, the UN allocates close to 6.5 billion USD for about 20 peacekeeping forces – comprising about 100,000 police and army officers as well as civilians – operating around the world.
Israel’s participation in the peacekeeping forces has raised its standing in the international community and especially in the UN. This will likely open up opportunities for Israel to be involved in the command level at UN headquarters, as well as in the sale of equipment and in training exercises. Israel will also be able to learn from UN experience in the deployment and operation of the peacekeeping forces.
Israel welcomes this first-time participation of an Israeli police officer in a UN peacekeeping force and hopes that more Israeli police officers will be involved in future missions.