Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Israel Wants Seat on U.N. Security Council

Israel said on Thursday it plans to run for a rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council for the time ever for 2019-2020, although U.N. diplomats said it will not be easy for the Jewish state to win.

“We’re going all out to win,” Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor told Reuters. “It’s about time.”

Winning a Security Council seat requires a two-thirds majority in the 193-nation General Assembly. Candidates are proposed by the five regional groups but election to the council is done by the full assembly.

Prosor said Israel will be vying against Germany and Belgium for two seats allotted to the “Western European and Others Group.” Technically Israel should be a member of the Asia-Pacific Group along with the other states in the Middle East. But predominantly Muslim states blocked its admission to that group.

In 2000 Israel was admitted to the Western European and Others Group, which includes the United States, on a temporary basis. In 2004 its membership in that group was permanently renewed.

Israel has occasionally held posts as vice president of the U.N. General Assembly but it has never been a member of the Security Council, the most powerful and prestigious body at the United Nations with the authority to impose sanctions or authorize the use of military force to enforce its decisions.

Securing a council seat will not be easy, U.N. diplomats say. Most members of the 120 non-aligned bloc of developing nations are either cool or openly hostile towards Israel. General Assembly votes on issues related to Israel and the Palestinians are usually unfavorable for the Israelis.

In November 2012, a General Assembly vote on a Palestinian bid to gain implicit recognition of statehood by upgrading its U.N. observer status to that of “non-member state” – something the Israelis strongly opposed – highlighted how isolated Israel can be at the United Nations. There were 138 votes in favor of the Palestinian request, 41 abstentions and only nine against.

There are 10 rotating Security Council members who serve for two years at a time. Each year five rotating members are replaced. The five permanent veto-wielding members are the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

General Assembly elections for next year’s Security Council will be on Oct. 17.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.