UAE, Bahrain reject Israeli UN resolution on entrepreneurship, despite new peace

Israeli-sponsored resolution passes with huge majority, but Arab nations as a bloc vote against it despite new peace ties.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday praised the world body for overwhelmingly approving an Israeli-sponsored resolution to support entrepreneurship but criticized Arab countries who voted against it, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The two Gulf countries voted against the jobs-oriented resolution despite signing recent peace treaties with Israel and praising what both countries called an advancement of peace in the region.

The resolution focuses on actions needed for the post-pandemic recovery, calls for efforts by UN member states to help entrepreneurs and micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, with an emphasis on those most affected.

“Today’s resolution is a great victory for Israel and for all countries that care about the future,” said Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan. “It addresses the steps we need to take so that every country can enjoy the benefits of innovation and build a sustainable and inclusive economy. And despite attempts to sabotage it, it was adopted with an overwhelming majority.”

The resolution passed with a definitive 144-26 majority with nine abstentions, but the Arab countries voted as a block against the resolution, apparently because it was sponsored by Israel.

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Opponents included the UAE and Bahrain. Egypt and Jordan, the other two Arab states that have full diplomatic relations with Israel, also voted against the resolution.

“Unfortunately, there are some in this body, who despite recognizing the value of innovation, decided to vote against it,” Erdan said. “Their ‘no’ vote was driven not by reason or logic, but by anti-Semitism and intolerance. These member states should be ashamed. Instead of advancing a more sustainable future, they cling to racism and bigotry. We should all feel outraged.”

The U.S. representative to the UN’s Economic and Social Council, Courtney R. Nemroff, said her country was “pleased to vote in favor of the Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development resolution.”

“We would also like to recognize Israel’s leadership in again putting forward this very important resolution,” Nemroff said. “It is clear this resolution continues to gain support from UN Member States. As we look to recover from the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, entrepreneurship is more important than even and will be essential to a swift and resilient recovery.”