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United Nations General Assembly.
News and Opinion

There Is Always A First
United Nations Supports Israel.

For the first time ever, an Israel-initiated draft resolution has passed the U.N. General Assembly. After a lengthy diplomatic process, which lasted more than six months, UN member states supported the resolution in a vote of 118 countries in favor, with 29 abstentions and no objections. 80 U.N. member states signed on as co-sponsors to Israel's resolution.

The resolution, passed by the economic and financial committee, requests that developed nations share their agricultural technology expertise with less developed nations, in particular the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. The resolution calls on the UN Secretary General to submit a report to the General Assembly on its implementation within two years. The resolution is the culmination of an unprecedented process in which Israel for the first time initiated a socio-economic resolution at the UN General Assembly, on the first subject which the UN has set among its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - the eradication of poverty and elimination of hunger, with the goal of halving the world level of poverty and hunger by 2015.

The resolution adopted today by the UN gives expression to Israeli know-how in the areas of agriculture, fighting desertification, rural development, irrigation, medical development, computers and the empowerment of women, as reflected for many years in Israel's contribution to developing nations, particularly in Africa.

"B'nai B’rith applauds Israel on this diplomatic milestone," said Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin. "Israel has a particular expertise in the area of agriculture and should be recognized for pursuing actions that will help fight poverty and hunger."

As the only Jewish organization with an office devoted exclusively to United Nations affairs, B’nai B’rith is pleased that Israel has been acknowledged by fellow Member States.

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni welcomed this first adoption by the UN of an Israeli-sponsored resolution on agricultural technology. The adoption of this resolution represents a great diplomatic achievement for Israel. The resolution places Israel on the map as a leading actor in global affairs, not limited to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. FM Livni praised the intensive efforts of the ministry’s International Affairs Division and its delegation to the United Nations which led to this successful outcome.

The diplomatic initiative which won the support of the international community was drafted at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem and presented by Israel's delegation to the UN General Assembly. Through intensive efforts over the last six months in New York, Jerusalem and world capitals, a coalition of UN agencies and states came together to shape the resolution adopted this evening. Negotiations with the different countries as well as the relevant UN agencies in the fields of food, agriculture and socio-economic development were conducted in a professional and businesslike manner throughout.

Israel's Foreign Ministry thanked all the UN members who were partners in actively supporting and co-sponsoring this resolution, as well as those who voted for it. The broad support for the resolution testifies to its importance to many countries, especially the developing countries.

This is an important achievement for Israeli diplomacy, reflecting Israel's desire to fulfill its role in the UN institutions and the international community in the professional arena, and to demonstrate their high level and capabilities in the area of science and research. Now, after the adoption of resolution, will begin the phase of implementation, in cooperation with the relevant UN bodies and states, in which Israel’s contribution will be brought into practice.

Text of the resolution A/C.2/62/L.23/Rev.2

Sixty-second session
Second Committee (Economic and Fincial)
Agenda item 54 (a)
Sustainable development: implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development

Israeli-initiated draft resolution co-sponsored by:

  • Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Montenegro, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America and Uruguay.

Agricultural technology for development

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 58/218 of 23 December 2003, 59/227 of 22 December 2004, 60/193 of 22 December 2005 and 61/195 of 20 December 2006,

Recalling also the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development ("Johannesburg Plan of Implementation"), as well as the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development,

Reaffirming the commitment to implement Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, including the time-bound goals and targets, and the other internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals,

Reaffirming also the goals set in paragraph 19 of the Millennium Declaration, to halve poverty and hunger by 2015,

Reaffirming further that eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, particularly for developing countries, and that although each country has the primary responsibility for its own sustainable development and poverty eradication and the role of national policies and development strategies cannot be overemphasized, concerted and concrete measures are required at all levels to enable developing countries to achieve their sustainable development goals as related to the internationally agreed poverty-related targets and goals, including those contained in Agenda 21, the relevant outcomes of other United Nations conferences and the United Nations Millennium Declaration,

Recalling the 2005 World Summit Outcome,

Recalling also its resolution 60/265 of 30 June 2006,

Recognizing that the achievement of many of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, in many countries is currently off track, and emphasizing that vigorous implementation of all development commitments will be needed without delay if the Goals are to be achieved,

Remaining concerned that Africa is the only continent currently not on track to achieve any of the goals of the Millennium Declaration by 2015, and in this regard emphasizing that concerted efforts and continued support are required to fulfil the commitments to address the special needs of Africa,

Noting the preparatory work being carried out by the Commission on Sustainable Development for its next two-year cycle, with the thematic focus on agriculture, rural development, land, drought, desertification and Africa,

Concerned by the relatively slow progress so far in achieving the abovementioned goals, especially the hunger target and goals, and recognizing the need to redouble the efforts of the international community in its attempt to reach the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals,

Reaffirming that agriculture plays a crucial role in addressing the needs of a growing global population and is inextricably linked to poverty eradication, especially in developing countries, and that enhancing the role of women at all levels and in all aspects of rural development, agriculture, nutrition and food security is imperative and that sustainable agriculture and rural development are essential to the implementation of an integrated approach to increasing food production and enhancing food security and food safety in an environmentally sustainable way,

Considering the increasing need to innovate in agriculture and food production to adapt, inter alia, to climate change, urbanization and globalization,

Cognizant that technological methods to advance these goals should be sustainable, accessible and of benefit to poor people, taking into account relevant international instruments and the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals,

Recognizing that appropriate, affordable and sustainable agricultural technologies can play an important role in helping Member States alleviate poverty and eradicate hunger,

  1. Calls upon Member States, especially those in a position to do so, and relevant United Nations organizations to make greater efforts to promote the development and transfer of appropriate technologies in and to developing countries under fair, transparent and mutually agreed terms, as well as to support national efforts to foster the effective utilization of local know-how and technology and promote agricultural research and technologies to enable poor rural men and women to increase agricultural productivity and enhanced food security;
  2. Underlines the need for Member States to make their knowledge and know-how in the field of agricultural technology and agricultural innovation systems more accessible, in particular to poor people, subject to appropriate arrangements;
  3. Reiterates that the eradication of poverty, hunger and malnutrition, in particular as they affect children, is crucial for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and that rural and agricultural development should be an integral part of national and international development policies, calls for increased productive investment in rural and agricultural development to achieve food security, in this regard calls for enhanced support for agricultural development and trade capacity-building in the agricultural sector in developing countries, including by the international community and the United Nations system, and encourages support for commodity development projects, especially market-based projects, and for their preparation under the Second Account of the Common Fund for Commodities;
  4. Notes with satisfaction the contribution made by the "Technology for Agriculture" initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations;
  5. Urges the relevant bodies of the United Nations system to support the efforts of Member States, in particular developing countries, to take full advantage of new knowledge in agricultural technology, agricultural innovation, research and development to achieve relevant Millennium Development Goals, specifically the eradication of poverty and hunger;
  6. Calls upon public and private institutions to further develop improved varieties of crops that are appropriate for various regions, especially those challenged by environmental factors, including climate change, and to develop and manage these crops in a sustainable manner, and calls for further efforts by all stakeholders to ensure that improved crop varieties are made available and affordable to smallholder farmers in a manner consistent with national regulations and relevant international agreements;
  7. Underscores the importance of support to agricultural research, and calls for continued support to international agricultural research systems, including the International Agricultural Research Centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, as well as other relevant international organizations;
  8. Recognizes the importance of relevant institutions providing effective mechanisms for public-private agricultural advisory services, as well as extension, financial and market services to farmers, in particular smallholder farmers, so that the benefits of new knowledge, agricultural innovation systems and improved technology may reach them and be used by them;
  9. Invites Member States, especially those in a position to do so, and relevant regional and international organizations to allocate financial and technical resources to support the development of efficient, productive and environmentally sound technologies for sustainable agriculture in developing countries;
  10. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session a report on the implementation of the present resolution.

The vote

The draft resolution on agricultural technology for development was approved by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to none against, with 29 abstentions, as follows:

In favor:
Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam.
Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Kiribati, Maldives, Mali, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu.

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