A United Nations (UN) committee has passed an Israeli-spearheaded resolution to encourage entrepreneurship and sustainable development, despite opposition from the body’s Arab members.
The UN Second Committee (Economic and Financial) approved the resolution, which calls for the removal of obstacles towards entrepreneurship and to encourage more opportunities for women, minorities and disabled people. The resolution was passed by a total of 123 votes for the resolution, with 30 against and eight abstentions.
The resolution also pledged to promote “entrepreneurship education through capacity-building, training programs, and business incubators” in order to “unleash the talent that is innate in all societies”.
Introducing the resolution to delegates, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said: “Few countries knew more about the benefits of entrepreneurs than Israel, which had limited resources but had turned its country from a desert into a hub of innovation.”
However, the resolution was opposed by a number of Arab representatives. The Syrian representative complained that it failed to take into account that “the Israeli occupation was an obstacle to sustainable development in the Palestinian and Syrian Golan territories” and claimed that Israel “contributed to pollution, soil erosion and toxic waste”.
Commenting after the vote, Danon said that the resolution is “further proof of the important contributions that Israel makes to the world as a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship”.
He added: “The hypocritical opposition by the Arab bloc did not succeed. Every day, more and more countries are showing interest in Israel’s success… We are proud to cooperate with countries around the world and to share knowledge and know-how as we work together to build a better world”.
Recent hostility towards Israel in a number of UN institutions has prompted a critical response from Israeli leaders. Last month, leaders from across the Israeli political spectrum condemned a series of resolutions passed by UNESCO, which appeared to dismiss the Jewish connection towards holy sites in Jerusalem.