The United Nations has appointed David Scharia as the legal coordinator for the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, making him the only Israeli national to operate in a senior security position within the UN Secretariat.
Scharia, a former Israeli government attorney, will oversee a team of 12 international legal experts who advise the 15-nation Security Council on its counterterrorism efforts.
The appointment comes somewhat as a surprise, given the recent contentious relationship between Israel and the U.N. According to the U.N., of the more than 44,000 employees working within the organisation, only 124 are Israeli, with none serving in the top ranks of the most sensitive political jobs.
Ron Prosor, Israel's U.N. ambassador, said: "I am very proud to welcome a very talented Israeli into the U.N.'s senior ranks. One of my priorities is to bring many more bright minds from the Holy Land into the U.N.'s halls, where Israelis have long been underrepresented."
Scharia's appointment comes 6 years after initially beginning his career at the U.N. as a legal adviser to the Security Council's counterterrorism executive directorate. Prior to this, he served as a senior deputy in the Supreme Court Division of the Israeli Attorney General, in addition to working as head of the Counter Terrorism internal investigations unit in the Ministry of Justice and as chairman of the Inter-ministerial Counter Terrorism Committee