(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
NEW YORK – Israel’s representative at the United Nations, Danny Danon, was elected chairman of the UN Legal Committee on Monday, becoming the first Israeli named to the position since Israel joined the international body in 1949.
The UN’s Legal Committee, also called the Sixth Committee, deals with all of the UN’s activities regarding international law, including the status of the additional protocols of the Geneva Conventions, and coordinates its fight against terrorism.
“I am proud to be the first Israeli elected to this position,” Danon said.
“Israel is a world leader in international law and in fighting terrorism. We are pleased to have the opportunity to share our knowledge with the countries of the world.”
According to the Israeli mission at the UN, Danon’s election came after “a lengthy and difficult diplomatic battle,” as countries from the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) ran a “coordinated campaign” attempting to block the initiative.
The mission explained that “Iran, the current chair of the NAM group, circulated a draft of a letter to UN member- states filled with anti-Israel fabrications and calling to reject the Israeli candidacy.”
But Danon said in a statement that Israel “will not allow dictatorships and anti-Israel countries to harm our standing in the international community.
Those who tried to block our appointment would be well advised to take note of the jurisdiction of this committee, as they have much to learn about international law. We are a full member of the UN, and any attempt to deny us of our legal rights in this organization will be met with uncompromising rejection.”
One of Danon’s first tasks in his new position will be to further the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.