Israel seeks seat on Security Council

For the first time since Israel joined the UN, it has begun the process of applying to the Security Council.

Israeli ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman met with fellow members of the Western Europe and Others Group (WEOG) on Monday and told them that Israel intends to

submit its candidacy as a member of the Security Council. The official request will be submitted within a few days.

Israel joined WEOG about three years ago, after years of not belonging to any group or regional bloc in the UN. As a member of the group, Israel is eligible to apply for senior appointments in the organization.

WEOG has 30 members, 25 from Western Europe as well as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. Gillerman was recently appointed as a vice-president of the General Assembly, the first Israeli in that position since 1963.

However, one of the conditions for Israel’s joining WEOG was a promise that it would not request a Security Council seat if any other members of the group seek a seat at the same time. This condition means Israel’s application cannot be considered until 2018 at the earliest – the first year in which none of the other WEOG members will be a contender for a Security Council position. This fact did not diminish the feeling within the Israeli delegation.

“It is a very important moment for Israel,” Gillerman said yesterday. “A moment that in the not-so-distant past would have been thought impossible.”

Israeli diplomats in New York pointed out that Israel’s application to the Security Council was the result of the diplomatic philosophy shaped by Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, in which Israel must fight for its rights as a member of the international organization, which it was arbitrarily prevented from achieving for years.

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