Israel this week participated for the first time in one of the core coordinating groups focused on human rights and social policy at the United Nations in New York.
Israel joined the “JUSCANZ” caucus in the United Nation’s Third Committee along with the world’s most advanced democracies including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Norway, and Switzerland.
Hailing Israel’s admission into the UN body, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor said: “An historical injustice has been corrected. Anyone who champions human rights must celebrate this announcement. Israel’s admission into JUSCANZ highlights the international community’s recognition of our democracy. In the Middle East, a region where women are stoned to death and minorities executed, we are a beacon of human rights, equality, and freedom.”
The Israeli Mission to the UN is leading in promoting women’s empowerment, gender equality and the rights of person with disabilities.
In another development, Israel has been accepted as an observer state of the Pacific Alliance, a Latin American trade bloc, as a result of the government’s policy to develop new markets for the Israeli economy.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to visit Colombia and Mexico in April in order to promote cooperation with the Pacific Alliance.
“I thank the leaders of the Pacific Alliance member states for accepting Israel as an observer to the important organization that they head. This is an additional step in ensuring the continued growth of the Israeli economy. We are diversifying the State of Israel’s international markets,” Netanyahu said.
The organization’s goals include free trade and economic integration among the member states, as well as a visa-free travel area, a common stock exchange, and common diplomatic representation.
The combined Gross National Product (GNP) of the Pacific Alliance member states amounts to over $2 trillion and constitutes 36% of the GNP of Latin America. It is the eighth largest economy in the world, accounts for 50% of Latin America’s trade and 26% of its foreign investments, over $70 billion. Israel currently exports $864 million worth of goods to the Pacific Alliance countries per annum, approximately 1% of Israel’s total exports. In comparison, exports to India, the economy of which is smaller than that of the Pacific alliance countries, constituted approximately 3.4% of exports in 2013.