Facing an uphill struggle in an election next month, Israel has announced it is pulling out of a race for a seat on the UN security council. Israel was in a three-way contest with Germany and Belgium for two seats representing the western-democratic group of nations on the UN’s most powerful body starting in January. Israel’s withdrawal virtually guarantees Germany and Belgium victory in the 8 June election and seats on the council.
The security council has five permanent members – the US, Russia, China, Britain and France – and 10 members elected by the 193-member general assembly for two-year terms. Israel’s UN mission said in a statement that “after consulting with our partners, including our good friends, the state of Israel has decided to postpone its candidacy for a seat on the security council”.
“It was decided that we will continue to act with our allies to allow for Israel to realise its right for full participation and inclusion in decision-making processes at the UN,” the statement said. “This includes the security council as well as an emphasis on areas related to development and innovation.” Candidates for non-permanent seats on the council are chosen by regional groups and for 55 years Israel was not part of a regional group, which barred it from many UN positions.
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