Letter dated 7 April 2009 from the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I write to you regarding Israel’s recent election to the chairmanship of the forty-third session of the Commission on Population and Development.
As you are well aware, the State of Israel was nominated by the Western European and Other States Group as part of the normal, rotating chairmanship of the Commission. This nomination is the result of a routine procedural process to ensure that the work of the Commission continues in an operative and helpful manner. It is disturbing that the Arab Group at the United Nations decided to politicize this process and the work of the Economic and Social Council and its subsidiary bodies by objecting to the nomination of the Western European and Other States Group.
In both a national capacity and with regard to its outreach to partner countries, Israel places particular emphasis on the human person as the central subject of development and shares the belief that sustainable development is an important principle to ensure human well-being.
Israel has consistently contributed to the work of social and economic development at the United Nations, and its chairmanship of the Commission is a natural continuation of its tradition in such fields. In 2007, the General Assembly adopted a resolution initiated and sponsored by Israel on agricultural technology for development. It was a resolution in which Israel, along with the wider international community, offered concrete ways to aid developing countries in the field of sustainable agriculture. Unfortunately, the same countries that have now opposed Israel’s chairmanship also called for a vote on the aforementioned resolution in 2007, another example of how narrow political objectives can slow — and even stall — the important work of the United Nations.
I would like to add that Israel is a country that has developed extensive and sophisticated technologies and is a source of knowledge that aids international development, including in the fields of agriculture, water technology, desertification, medicine, public health, education and information technology. In fact, many of Israel’s neighbours have enjoyed benefits from these developments. I wish to note that Israel will continue to research and apply new innovations in these fields and share the benefits with the global community.
In response to the letter of protest by the Arab Group (E/CN.9/2009/8), I wish to assure you, as well as all members of the Commission, that Israel will continue, as it has done in the past, to contribute to the work of the United Nations, the Economic and Social Council and the Commission in a professional and robust manner.
Israel would kindly request that the present letter be distributed as a document of the Commission on Population Development, under agenda item 1 of the provisional agenda of the forty-third session.