The State of Israel was admitted to the United Nations
(UN) as its 59th member on 11 May 1949. Since then, it has participated
in a wide range of UN operations and has endeavored to make its full
contribution to UN organizations dealing with health, labor, food and
agriculture, education and science. Israel plays an active role in the
work of nongovernmental organizations, conducted under UN auspices,
which deal with issues ranging from aviation to immigration, from
communications to meteorology, from trade to the status of women.
For five decades Israel was excluded from a regional group in the United Nations; in April 2000 it was admitted to the Western Regional Group
(WEOG) on a temporary basis until it could join the Asian group. Since
then, Israel can elect and be elected to major United Nations bodies.
Israel was elected (through WEOG) to the vice presidency of the 60th UN
Some UN resolutions have been of crucial significance for Israel. Among them are Security Council Resolutions 242 (22 November 1967) and 338 (22 October 1973), which provide an agreed framework for settling the Arab-Israel dispute.
Over the years, the UN has been active in bringing about a cessation
of hostilities between Israel and its Arab neighbors by appointing
mediators, extending UN auspices to cease-fire and armistice agreements
and stationing UN forces between the adversaries.
The UN has been used for years as a battleground for political
warfare against Israel. The 21 Arab states, with the aid of Islamic
countries and their ally the nonaligned camp, constituted an 'automatic
majority', assuring the adoption of anti-Israel resolutions in the
In its effort to bring into the General Assembly the Jewish narrative, Israel succeeded in 2005 in convening a special session of the General Assembly on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps in Europe and to include the adoption of a new General Assembly resolution on an annual Holocaust Remembrance.