House Passes Schiff Resolution Congratulating Israel on New U.N. Role

WASHINGTON, DC - The House passed a resolution today (H. Res. 368) congratulating Israel on the election of its UN Ambassador, Dan Gillerman, as a Vice-President of the United Nations General Assembly.  Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) introduced the resolution in July, with Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH), Vice-Chairman of the Middle East and Central Asia Subcommittee.

Gillerman is the first Israeli to be elected to that post in over five decades.  The only other Israeli was Abba Eban, who held the position in 1952.

The resolution applauds the election of Israel's Ambassador as Vice-President and calls on Congress to support continued expansion of Israel's role at the United Nations. 

The resolution also calls on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to end the vilification of Israel at the UN and support Israel's right to join the Asian regional grouping.  Geographically, Israel belongs in the Asian regional group, but several Arab states in that group have refused to permit Israel's entry.  This exclusion has prevented Israel from serving as President of the General Assembly or as a member of any bureau in the General Assembly and its main committees.

As of 2000, Israel became a temporary member of the Western European and Other States Group (WEOG), which includes the United States.  On April 21, 2005, Israel was nominated as a candidate for Vice-President of the 60th General Assembly and was elected by the 191 members of the General Assembly on June 13, 2005.

"This is an important victory for our friend and ally, Israel." Schiff said.  "We will continue to work to expand Israel’s role at the United Nations."

Congressman Schiff is the co-founder of the Democratic Study Group on National Security and a member of both the House Judiciary and International Relations committees.  He represents California's 29th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, East Pasadena, East San Gabriel, Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena and Temple City.