Ron Prosor at the UN 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy UN)
NEW YORK – Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor was unanimously nominated on Tuesday by 170 countries to run the elections for the UN Human Rights Committee.
“It is a great honor to chair the elections for the Human Rights Committee. The central role Israel plays to advance human rights around the world is the real answer to anyone calling for boycotts against Israel,” Prosor said.
This nomination is the latest positive development for Israel at the UN. Israel recently joined the JUSCANZ caucusing group in New York, whose members include most of the world’s major democracies outside of Western Europe, and re-joined the Human Rights Council in Geneva and in New York. Israel also joined the Western European and Others Group in December.
Israel’s next move will likely be to run for a seat on the 2019- 2020 UN Security Council, for which it is expected to compete against Germany and Belgium.
If elected, it will be a major accomplishment for Israel.
Prosor will be the first Israeli diplomat to supervise a UN election. The Human Rights Council’s mandate is to objectively monitor human rights around world and states’ compliance with international human rights treaties. Elections to the council take place every two years.
Following this victory for Israel, Prosor spoke at a Security Council debate on Wednesday on the importance of the rule of law. Taking jabs at Israel’s Arab and Muslim neighbors, particularly Saudi Arabia and Iran, he said Israel’s commitment to the rule of law meant it was a “stand out country” in a region otherwise “sinking under the weight of corruption and inequality.”
Paraphrasing Mahatma Ghandi, Prosor told the council that the greatness of a nation can be judged by how it treats its weakest members. “Our Arab citizens in Israel have more rights than Arabs anywhere else in the Middle East,” he boasted. “Our commitment to the free exchange of ideas has made Israel a destination for reporters, academics, and human rights advocates, who know their speech and activities will not be curtailed.”
“The character of a society can be assessed by its commitment to a system of laws that both protect and liberate its citizens,” Prosor said. “This council should do everything in its power to support the brave few who live and die by these ideas.”
Iran and the observer state of “Palestine” addressed the council later on Wednesday.