Israel joins human rights group at UN

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (Photo: US Mission Geneva)

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (Photo: US Mission Geneva)

Israel participated yesterday in a meeting of the United Nations human rights group JUSCANZ – the first time it has taken part since being admitted to the group in 2010.

The country’s involvement was welcomed by the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, who described it as correcting a “historic injustice”.

He added: “Israel’s admission into JUSCANZ highlights the international community’s recognition of our democracy.”

JUSCANZ works as a regional advisory group to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, as well as some other UN bodies. It is made up of 15 countries, including the United States, Canada and Australia.

The move was celebrated by Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, who wrote on his Facebook page: “Next time you hear reports of diplomatic isolation or a wave of boycotts threatening Israel, know that the reality is very different.”

Mr Lieberman further illustrated his point by announcing that Israel had been accepted as the first Middle Eastern country to sit as an observer to the Pacific Alliance.

The trade alliance is comprised of five Latin American countries - Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Costa Rica – which together have the eighth-largest economy in the world.

Mr Lieberman wrote that the country’s admittance as an observer “is testimony to its good relations with the member countries and the mutual desire to develop the relationship”.

He added: “Israel continues to be a leader and has the best minds in the world, and we will continue to strengthen and improve our relations with the international community.”

Last updated: 9:31am, February 12 2014