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June 16, 2015 2:30 pm
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Israeli Rep to Become Senior UN Official Despite Syrian, Iranian Opposition

avatar by David Daoud

Yotam Goren (center) was appointed as the deputy chairman of the General Assembly's Fifth Committee, which handles budgetary and administrative matters for the United Nations. PHOTO: UN Photos/Mark Garten

Yotam Goren (center) was appointed as the deputy chairman of the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee, which handles budgetary and administrative matters for the United Nations. PHOTO: UN Photos/Mark Garten

The U.N. General Assembly voted to appoint Israeli diplomat Yotam Goren as deputy chairman of the Administrative and Budgetary Committee on Monday night, despite objections from Iran and Syria, Israeli NRG news reported.

After his appointment, Goren said “this achievement is the result of efforts we undertake every day to make sure that Israel is included in all fields of the global agenda.”

Israel was a driving force in the international community, “a leader, and a contributor to the global agenda at every opportunity, despite the obstacles that many countries place before it at the United Nations,” he added.

Commenting on the appointment, he called it a “demonstration of the great appreciation given [to Israel] from across the world, from the Pacific to India.”

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Goren said he was “proud to represent [his] country and influence the committee used as the main artery for the United Nations, and whose mission is critical to [the U.N.’s] ongoing actions around the world.”

The Administrative and Budgetary Committee functions as the U.N.’s “Finance Ministry,” and is responsible for managing a budget of more than $11 billion, most of which is contributed by Western countries.

The budget covers all areas in which the U.N. acts, including peacekeeping forces, development and human rights.

Goren’s appointment did not go without criticism. In a rare moment of consensus, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia voiced their opposition to Goren’s appointment, but refrained from calling a vote on the matter over concerns it would fail.

Saudi Ambassador to the U.N. Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi called Goren’s candidacy a “provocation,” and Iran said presenting an Israeli candidate for the a leadership position at the U.N. was an illegitimate move.

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