This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Grudgingly Accepting Humanitarian Aid

The United Nations General Assembly's Second Committee (Economic and Financial) today adopted an Israeli-initiated draft resolution dealing with agricultural technology for development. After a lengthy diplomatic process, which lasted more than six months, UN member states supported the resolution in a vote of 118 countries in favor, with 29 abstentions and no objections.
The resolution calls on developed countries to make their knowledge and know-how in the field of agricultural technology more accessible to the developing world, in particular the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. The resolution calls on the UN Secretary General to submit a report to the General Assembly on its implementation within two years.
The resolution is the culmination of an unprecedented process in which Israel for the first time initiated a socio-economic resolution at the UN General Assembly, on the first subject which the UN has set among its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - the eradication of poverty and elimination of hunger, with the goal of halving the world level of poverty and hunger by 2015.
The resolution adopted today by the UN gives expression to Israeli know-how in the areas of agriculture, fighting desertification, rural development, irrigation, medical development, computers and the empowerment of women, as reflected for many years in Israel's contribution to developing nations, particularly in Africa.
Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The objective of the resolution is clear enough; to alleviate poverty in undeveloped areas of the world, to teach best-farming and irrigation practices, and transfer medical and technological knowledge, among other issues such as raising the status and recognition of women; in short a purely humanitarian initiative. And yet, even as it is recognized as such, there was resistance from among some of the very countries that stand to benefit from that transfer of knowledge.

On the other hand, the passing of the resolution also reflects a first, the first time a resolution with Israel's imprimatur has gained recognition and approval.

Despite the vehemence of opposition from  some Arab nations, choosing to ignore the aid the proposal reflects, to provide African countries suffering under drought conditions and resulting malnutrition that the benefits of such knowledge transfer would provide to alleviate endemic distress. Some Arab nations sitting on the UN human rights council chose not to support but to attempt to repress the resolution.

"We worked on the proposal for a long time, and we were very happy that it passed with a strong voice. [ It was] strange to hear the opposition of the Arab countries regarding a proposal that was meant to help them as well."
"There were no votes against us, but there were a lot of abstentions. But even before the vote, the Syrian representative, as well as the Palestinian Authority representative spoke against the right of Israel to submit proposals to the UN. They tried to make the situation political, and take it out of the framework of helping people."
Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon

Of those countries who voted, 124 voted in favor of the proposal and 37 abstained. "This proposal should have passed unanimously. All other proposals of this nature passed unanimously in the past", observed Ambassador Danon. "With the content they had no issues whatsoever. The abstention votes came because those countries stand against Israel’s right to exist in the UN and for our right have a place among the nations."

"From a technological perspective it was certainly important. Many people in the UN are interested in Israeli technology and want to learn from us. It is something that I will be working hard towards promoting in the UN in the coming year."

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