Israeli diplomat Yaron Wax (Israel Mission to the UN)


At the UN, a young Israeli diplomat prevented the corrupt UNRWA from receiving $17 million.

Yaron Wax, an Israeli delegate at the UN, found a diplomatic solution to prevent the corrupt United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) from receiving $17 million from the world body.

Russia had proposed giving the money to the Agency in an effort to prevent the UN from earmarking funds towards the investigation of war crimes in Syria, according to a report in Tuesday’s Hebrew-language Ynet News. 

During the Fifth UN Commission meeting in December, which approves the organization’s annual budget, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutrash proposed allocating $17 million to International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to investigate war crimes in Syria. Russia, China and their allies opposed using the funds for this purpose. Until now, IIIM operates through donations only.

However, Israel supported Gutrash’s motion.

Fighting back, Russia proposed that $17 million of the UN budget be allocated to UNRWA, which is known for perpetuating the status of Palestinians as refugees and for backing Palestinian schools that rewrite historic facts and encourage Jihad. Much of UNRWA’s funding also comes from donations.

Israel represents the group of Western States as Deputy Head of the Executive Committee tasked with leading negotiations that create the UN’s budget.

Wax proposed that, should western countries vote in favor of funding UNRWA, Israel would require a vote to approve the UN’s budget. This would be an unprecedented move as the UN’s budget generally passes by way of consensus.

It was a risky move. Traditionally, countries never ask for a vote on the UN budget, certainly not a small country like Israel, noted YNET. Additionally, Israel could have found itself alone in wanting the vote, or perhaps only the US would have also agreed.

Over several days. negotiations took place behind closed doors, after which Gutrasch’s proposal to fund investigating Syrian war crimes passed and Russia’s proposal to fund UNRWA failed.

The Foreign Ministry praised Wax “for managing the contacts wisely and carefully, without entering into unnecessary conflicts.”