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Germany denies deal to give Israel UN council seat


Germany has rejected accusations that it has violated a presumed 10-year agreement that provides for Israel to stand as candidates without a disagreement in obtaining a seat at the UN Security Council. The agreement referred to was signed when the Jewish state joined the regional group of Western Europe and others (WEOG) at the UN, and it included a promise not to oppose Israel if it applied for one of the non-permanent posts reserved for the regional group, but Germany denies that this commitment has been made. Israel, Germany and Belgium are competing for the two seats reserved for the regional group in the General Assembly elections to be held on 8 June. Overall, five seats are up for grabs for a period of two years, but three are reserved for Africa, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.

To win the election to the council, the candidate countries must obtain a two-thirds majority in the assembly of the 193 nations. While on the one hand Germany has been actively working for its sixth election for years, Israel has been working behind the scenes for over a year, but according to a recent report it seems to have decided to abandon the attempt because it failed to muster the necessary majority. Israel is one of the 66 nations of the world that have never had a seat on the body; beating Germany and Belgium for the coveted position would be an important result for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whose goal is to erode the great automatic majority that makes the Council unbalance against Israel.

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