Zaka first responders Yossi Frankel (right) and Benzi Oring pose in front of one of the organization’s emergency vehicles.
(photo credit: SAM SOKOL)
NEW YORK – Israel’s ZAKA rescue and recovery volunteer organization was granted the status of consultant NGO to the United Nations on Wednesday.
The UN’s Nongovernmental Organization Committee meets twice each year to approve organizations for consultative status. ZAKA, which is a Hebrew acronym of Disaster Victim Identification, and which includes some 2,600 volunteers on call 24/7 to respond to terrorist attacks, accidents or disasters, was granted the status after three years of failed attempts.
The Israeli mission to the UN explained the failure due to anti-Israel officials who had vetoed the organization’s candidacy.
Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon called the move “a great victory for Israeli diplomacy” and explained it was achieved following extensive diplomatic efforts by the Israeli delegation with the help of US Ambassador Samantha Power.
“ZAKA is an organization representing the moral values of the State of Israel and its acceptance at the United Nations proves this to the whole world,” Danon said.
“ZAKA has received the status it deserves at the parliament of nations.”
Being an official UN consultant gives the NGO the right to participate in formal UN deliberations of all institutions of the body as a consultant. ZAKA has joined a short list of other Israeli organizations that have received the status in the past such, as AlManarah, Beit Issie Shapiro and Alut.
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