- Written by MFA
Israel to open an office at NATO HQ in Brussels
Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the NATO announcement and called it an important step in enhancing Israel’s security.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) announced that Israel will be able to open an office at NATO headquarters in Brussels and to complete the process of accrediting its delegates. The announcement comes after diplomatic efforts by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense and the National Security Council. Israel wishes to thank its friends among NATO member states for their support and efforts in this matter.
Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the NATO announcement and called it an important step in enhancing Israel’s security. He stated that the move demonstrates the desire to cooperate with Israel in the field of security.
- Written by Reli Magnezi, with contributions from Shir Sasi
"Israel's Youngest Diplomats Address the Syrian Conflict"
The youngest diplomats in Israeli history participated in a unique conference in Petah Tikva on Sunday, April 10th. The Young Ambassadors School in Petah Tikva, which is used to training young leaders and marking historic occasions, welcomed its youngest students in the Model United Nations (MUN) program. Approximately thirty 5th and 6th grade students represented countries ranging from Australia to the United Arab Emirates, and spent 2.5 hours addressing the conflict in Syria.
As the youngest MUN students in Israeli history, the students spent weeks preparing for the conference by studying rules for how to interact in a diplomatic conference, and the complexities of the Syrian conflict, from the issue of Kurdish sovereignty to the threat of Jabhat al-Nusra to replace the presence of Islamic State.
The conference, the third one this year organized by the Young Ambassadors School in partnership with the Interfaith Encounters Association, also included three committees for older students—one dealing with Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, one addressing the threat of Islamic State (Daesh), and a crisis committee simulating an Israeli airstrike on Iran. Participants included 7th-12th grade students from the Young Ambassadors School, as well as the Yachad Modiin team, and individual students from other cities. Students from Khadeja Junior High School in Umm al-Fahem and AlJadedah High School in Kfar Kasem also attended as observers in hopes of establishing their own MUN programs in the future.
Following the debates and negotiations, each committee voted on and passed a separate resolution. For the Syrian Conflict committee that meant deciding to partition Syria into distinct, autonomous areas, with one overarching central government to unite the different areas.
At the end of the evening, those who represented their countries the best were called up to the podium to receive awards. These included Eden Peri (Iran), Uri Haimovitch (China), Itay Ozer (Saudi Arabia) and Mika Galperin (USA) in the Syrian Conflict committee; Almog Vilder (Lebanon), Sarah Frydman (Syria) and Niv Geva (Iraq) in the ISIS committee; Arielle Lieberman (USA), Tamar Shahar (Canada) and Oz Alfy (Italy) in the Human Rights Council, and Austen Hamilton (Israel) and Omri Weinstock (Iran) in the Crisis Committee.
Or Shipperman from Elimelekh Kaner Elementary School, who represented Russia in the 5th-6th grade group, said that she enjoyed herself immensely, and that it had been an incredible experience. "I learned about how the conflict looks from a different perspective, and of course how to represent a different view than my personal one" she said. Ori Vikel, from Neve Oz Elementary School, added that in her view, the experience of learning to make speeches and represent countries was preparation for the job of representing Israel for which the Young Ambassadors program prepares students. Judging by the conference, Israel's diplomatic future, rests in some capable young hands.
For more information and to attend future conferences, please contact Steven Aiello, Director of the Model UN program at the Young Ambassadors School
- Written by MFA spokesperson
Israel condemns announcement by Iran's ambassador in Lebanon
His announcement that Iran would give financial support to Palestinian terrorists and their families is further proof of Iran’s deep involvement in encouraging terrorism against Israel.
Israel condemns the statement made by the Iranian ambassador in Lebanon at a press conference in which he announced that Iran would give financial support to Palestinian terrorists and their families.
This is further proof of Iran’s deep involvement in encouraging terrorism against Israel. Following the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the world powers, Iran is allowing itself to be once again a central player in global terror.
- Written by Prime Minister's Media Adviser
PM Netanyahu attends launch of Knesset caucus for Israel-Africa relations
Both as Prime Minister and as Foreign Minister, we are making a deliberate African strategy, and I've received an invitation from the President of Kenya and from others to come and visit Africa
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Monday, 29 February 2016), at the Knesset, attended the launch of the Knesset Caucus for Israel-Africa Relations, which was initiated by MK Dr. Avraham Naguisa. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, MKs and African ambassadors were also in attendance. The Prime Minister spoke with the ambassadors, all of whom invited him to visit their countries.
Prime Minister Netanyahu: "Israel is coming back to Africa; Africa is coming back to Israel. It's happening in a big way. It's happening now, but it should have happened a long time ago. It's happening now because it's so clear that this is good for Africa and it's good for Israel. We face a multitude of challenges and opportunities. Both as Prime Minister and as Foreign Minister, we are making a deliberate, what I call African strategy, and I've received an invitation from the President of Kenya and from others to come and visit Africa.
I intend to do so around the 40th anniversary of the raid at Entebbe that was for us a very dramatic national experience. For me, obviously, one of great personal consequence, but we view that as an opportunity to give practical meaning to what I said before: Israel is coming back to Africa; Africa is coming back to Israel.
And in fact, what I'd like to see, given this new reality, given the confluence of interests - that means the meeting of the minds, the meeting of the minds and the meeting of hearts. Now we understand that we have these two great things before us: overcoming the dark forces of militant Islamic terrorism and seizing the opportunities of the future with technology and everything else we can bring to bear. What I'd like to see is the closeness of our relationship reflected also in the voting pattern of the African Union.
I would like to eventually get to that point with the African Union, because you should vote for the interests of your own countries and you should vote for the interests of Africa. And I have no doubt whatsoever that today the interests of Africa and the interests of Israel cohere. They're almost identical, and in some respects and in many respects they are identical. So, I want to see that reflected in our bilateral relationship and also in our multilateral relationship. And as I said, Israel is coming back to Africa and Africa is coming back to Israel, and I intend to make good at it by literally coming to Africa. For too long you have come here and we have not come there, and we are going to change that.
The greatest challenge we face together - the entire world faces - is the surge of militant Islamist extremism and the terrorism that it espouses. It threatens every land in Africa. In my opinion, it threatens the entire globe. Its nexus is in the Middle East, but it is rapidly spreading.
It can be defeated. It can only be defeated if the nations that are attacked by it, make common cause. We understand the dangers of Al-Shabab. We understand the dangers of the other militancies that threaten your countries in Africa, and we are prepared to work with you to defeat them. And it is possible to do so.
I think that many countries from Africa, and may I say not only from Africa, are coming to Israel because of a demonstrated capacity to stand up to the forces of militant Islam, do battle with them, roll them back. And we are prepared to put our expertise at your disposal. That's the first reason that there has been such a marked change in the appreciation of Africa and Israel to one another.
Israel is ready to help in every way - in agriculture, in health care, in water, in irrigation, in science, in technology, in investment, tourism, cyber. Every country can be brought to its knees today if it doesn't have adequate cyber protection, just the basic services that you have - communications, banking, airlines and so on. And Israel is now a world power in cyber security and my policy is to make some of our experience available to our friends. We consider you great friends. So we want to be able to cooperate with you in these two fields: fighting the forces of terror and seizing the opportunities of tomorrow. And they go hand in hand."
Photo PM Netanyahu attends launch of Knesset caucus for Israel-Africa relations
Copyright: GPO/Kobi Gideon
- Written by Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection
One of the most important climate conferences ever is taking place in Paris in December 2015. The 21st Conference of the Parties, or COP 21, of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is being held from November 30-December 11, 2015. The Paris Climate Conference is considered so significant because a new, binding agreement on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which will be applicable to all countries, is expected to be adopted there.
Israel's has committed to reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions to 7.7 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) by 2030. This constitutes a reduction of 26% below the 2005 GHG emissions level.
Israel's GHG Emissions Reduction Target
While Israel has been a Party to the UNFCCC since 1996 and to the Kyoto Protocol since 2004, it was defined by Kyoto to be a developing, or non-Annex 1 country. Thus, it was not legally obligated to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
At the UNFCCC in Copenhagen in 2009, Israeli President Shimon Peres announced Israel's intention to reduce GHG emissions 20% by 2020, compared to a business-as-usual scenario. The government formulated a national GHG reduction program in 2010. But the Finance Ministry froze the program in 2013, making it unlikely the country will reach its 20% reduction target.
Under a new agreement expected to be adopted at the 2015 Paris conference, all countries, including Israel, will be obligated to reduce GHG emissions.
2015: A New Target
In Sept. 2015, an inter-ministerial committee submitted a recommendation to the Israeli government that it approve a program to reduce GHG emissions 25% by 2030.
In October 2015, the Israeli government submitted its official GHG reduction target to the UNFCCC.
The mitigation target is a per capita emissions reduction of 7.7 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) by 2030. This constitutes a reduction of 26% below the level in 2005 of 10.4 tCO2e per capita. An interim target of 8.8 tCO2e is expected by 2025.
There are also sector-specific targets for 2030:
17% reduction in electricity consumption relative to BAU (business as usual) scenario
17% of the electricity consumed will be from renewable sources (Currently 2% of Israel's electricity is generated by renewables.)
20% shift from private to public transportation relative to BAU scenario, transition from diesel to compressed natural gas for heavy vehicles
The emissions target is part of Israel's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), all the climate actions Israel intends to take under the new agreement.
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Preparations in Israel for the Paris Climate Conference
Conference on Sustainable Innovation: Towards the UN Convention on Climate Change, July 14, 2015
Hosts: Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP), Israel Ministry of Economy, German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.
New Climate Economy: An Action Agenda for Sustainable Economic Growth
A Universal Climate Agreement: Convergence of Moral and Economic Imperatives
Energy Efficiency on (and Beyond) the Road to Paris 2015
Comparative Findings on Climate Policy Among OECD Members
In addition, head of the MoEP's Climate Change Division presented conclusions of the inter-ministerial committee that was analyzing Israel's potential for reducing energy consumption and GHGs.
In accordance with the committee's findings, the MoEP recommended a reduction target of 30% of greenhouse gases by 2030, compared to a business as usual scenario. These reductions would come from sectors such as: electricity, industry, transportation, residential and commercial buildings, waste, and agriculture. (Ultimately, a slightly lower target was submitted. See GHG Emissions Reduction Target above.)
Article on conference, German Environment Ministry Website: "Climate action is a driver of innovation," July 14, 2015
More about the Sustainable Innovation Conference.
Climate Change Adaptation Conference, Sept. 7, 2015
Hosts: MoEP and other government ministries and agencies dealing with climate change adaptation
Creating a strategy and action plan to prepare Israel for climate change
The climate treaty expected to be adopted at the Paris Climate Conference
Climate trends and forecasts
The expected impact of climate change and adaptation efforts being made in Israel. Areas expected to be affected include: agriculture, biodiversity, rivers and streams, forestation, health, education, security, energy, planning and building, water, technologies, and more.
Israeli Delegation at COP 21
The delegation includes:
Nearly 70 people altogether; 12 from the MoEP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay, Director General Yisrael Dancziger
Knesset (Parliament) members, Officials from other ministries and agencies
Representatives from environmental NGOs, academia, business executives
Three side events are being organized by members of the Israeli delegation. Topics of the side events are:
Alternative refrigerants. (The use of alternative refrigerants, instead of GHG-producing HFCs, to replace HCFCs that are being phased out as a result of the Montreal Protocol.) More about the HCFC phase-out and alternative refrigerants.
Organizers: MoEP and its counterpart in Bavaria, Germany, which is partnering with Israel on a project to promote alternative refrigerants in Israel.
Deforestation. Organizers: Jewish National Fund, Montenegro organization
Renewable Energies. Organizers: Israel Foreign Ministry
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the conference on Day One, Nov. 30th.
Photo :Israeli and German Environment Ministers Avi Gabbay and Dr. Barbara Hendricks at the Sustainable Innovation Conference
Photo by Aviad Weitzman