Belgium and Israel are vying for a seat

fa3c37dd7166079de8603b8752aa732a - Belgium and Israel are vying for a seat

Minister of development Cooperation Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) is leaving tomorrow to the United Nations in New York, a week later, the Belgian king and queen. Belgium is lobbying frantically for a seat in the Security council. But Israel is on the alert.

With an ambitious and highly visible campaign seeks to Belgium, the anonymous election to win from 2019 onwards for two years as a non-permanent member seat in the UN Security council. Which has ten …

With an ambitious and highly visible campaign seeks to Belgium, the anonymous election to win from 2019 onwards for two years as a non-permanent member seat in the UN Security council. Which has ten non-permanent members, which each year five new members are elected. In the group of ‘Western European countries and other’, two seats free. There are three candidates: austria, Belgium, Germany and Israel. The vote will take place in June.

It is in line with expectations that Germany, one seat getting. Germany is powerful and efficient and has a large diplomatic network. As a result of fighting in Belgium and Israel, a fierce duel for the second vacant seat.

Israel and the UN, a murky relationship

Our country has some experience with such campaigns: already five times previously, Belgium was a temporary member. For Israel, it would be the first time, and that would amount to an unprecedented scoop. Israel has a murky relationship with the institutions of the United Nations, which regularly fierce criticism rises on the Israeli settlement policies in the occupied Palestinian territory.

“The winner has a two-thirds majority required in the General Meeting, and the race is not yet run,” says Jan Wouters, professor of international law and international organizations, and president of the Association for the United Nations (VVN). The minister of development Cooperation Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) on 18 april at the UN in New York leaves, where a week later the Belgian king and queen to arrive, means that the outcome of the battle between Belgium and Israel certainly is not yet known. “It promises to be very exciting to be,” says Wouters.

So The Croo the advocates win

Minister De Croo put in on a highly substantive campaign. At the United Nations, will he hold a speech about humanitarian innovation. In addition, a series of interviews with representatives of the least developed countries planned. The calls will be needed. Belgium has a strong international reputation for knowledge about Central Africa, but that is why the voice of the African countries are not yet within. So is the Congolese president Joseph Kabila, who clings to power, not loving the persistent Belgian plea for presidential elections and for respect for the human rights in the Congo.

The election is secret. Therefore, it is important to advance as much as possible, stembeloftes of countries. But how do you do that? By straight line from the corner to come, or precisely because criticism is a little less sharp to formulate? Our country shows itself very generally in regards to the Palestinian issue: for instance, in Belgium the initiative to Israel in writing, for compensation for destruction of EU development projects in the occupied West Bank. And Belgium paid a contribution to UNWRA forward, in order to avoid the UN agency for Palestinian refugees after the drastic reduction of the American contribution on a dry seed. On the contrary, that our country greatly hesitated to one Russian diplomat to convert as a result of the vergiftigingszaak of the Skripals in England.

“During the campaign for a candidacy to the UN looking for a country best balance,” recommends professor Wouters. “Belgium shows like principle with regard to the respect for human rights and for the rule of law. At the same time, we come out as a pragmatic people, with a wide experience in the search for a compromise. As a small country, finally, we have also smaller strategic interests. In difficult files can the Belgians, therefore, empathic worn, that plays our candidacy is definitely on the map.’

Noteworthy: EU-countries are not as one block behind Belgium

Belgium does seriously take into account that Germany will soon be for Israel to agree. Both countries have maintained for years, very good relationships, and Heiko Maas, Germany has now a foreign affairs minister with a pro-Israëlprofiel.

The Israeli-Palestinian issue caused division within the EU. On an annual basis, EU diplomats in the region a joint report. It goes, again and again, a lot of prior discussion. That can give an indication of the ‘sleepers’ to which Belgium will not need to calculate. An EU diplomat called names: ‘Hungary, Poland and the Czech republic, which on a good leaf to stand at Trump and an aversion to political islam, criticism of Israel in our reports often weak.’

It doesn’t stop there. Greece surprised everybody with an early kiesbelofte for Israel. ‘The Greek people and its elected officials traditionally have a pro-Palestinian attitude, ” says the diplomat. “But by supporting Israel, the left-wing government in Athens, a bend of 180 degrees. That runs purely to commercial interests: Greece is going along with Israel a gas field in the Mediterranean Sea exploit.’

What is the importance of such a temporary seat?The UN Security council often gets the blame little now to show and in crucial matters the difference is not. Russia and China screens as permanent members seem to be using their power of veto. “These are some of the motions for resolutions on Syria scuttled,” says professor Jan Wouters. Why would you as a council member? ‘In Syria the UN certainly failed, “says Wouters,” but there are also very clever things across, such as the establishment of the international criminal tribunals for the crimes in Rwanda and in former Yugoslavia.’A temporary seat in the Security council gives us more prestige and the influence of certain files at the highest level. Moreover, the candidacy of a long tradition. Our country is a founder member of almost all international institutions after the Second world War. (iro)

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