Israel scores UN victory on entrepreneurship Israel sought to share with the world its expertise on encouraging entrepreneurship as the best way to deal with the challenges of poverty and job creation. In the words of Israel's Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, on Wednesday, Israel held the largest IPO in its history, not on Wall Street, but at the UN headquarters. Representatives from most of the UN's member states participated in the Israeli-sponsored conference on entrepreneurship.
In an interview with "Globes" at the end of the conference, Prosor said, "My heart is full of pride when Israel serves as a model for entrepreneurship by almost every country in the world. This was an amazing day."
The conference included workshops and seminars where Israel sought to share with the world its expertise on encouraging private and public sector entrepreneurship as the best way to deal with the challenges of poverty and the creation of new jobs.
The conference followed passage of Resolution 67/202, which Israel drafted, by the UN General Assembly in December 2012, by a vote of 141 countries in favor, 31 against, and 11 abstentions. Article 1 states, "Encourages Governments to take a coordinated and inclusive approach to promoting entrepreneurship involving all stakeholders, while noting initiatives of civil society, academia and the private sector as important entrepreneurship drivers, and to develop policies, taking into account national priorities and circumstances, that address the legal, social and regulatory barriers to equal, effective economic participation, and stresses the need for a comprehensive approach to entrepreneurship that includes support from development partners in the areas of technology transfer on favorable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed, finance and capacity-building, with a focus on education and skills development."
Passage of the Resolution, just weeks after Israel suffered defeat when the UN General Assembly voted to grant observer status to Palestine, was considered a major diplomatic victory for Israel. The vote was preceded by an intensive campaign, over several months, by the Israeli Permanent Mission to the UN, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its international cooperation department.
Israel built Wednesday's conference on the basis of the resolution and the strong support for it. The conference aims to implement the objectives set out in the resolution and to position Israel as a source of global knowledge, expertise, and creativity.
As in December, Arab countries launched a boycott campaign. "They called for a boycott of the conference, simply because Israel hosted it, but, once again, Israel defeated the Arab boycott," said Prosor. Not only did most UN member states attend the conference, there were representatives from five Arab countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia.
In his opening remarks, Prosor described how Evans Wadongo, a Kenyan who grew up with no electricity or running water, completed his schoolwork by the light of a kerosene lamp. Because that lantern’s smoke damaged his eyes, he developed a solar-powered lantern and his invention is now being used in Kenya and Malawi.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and Nobel Prize Laureate for Chemistry Dan Shechtman also spoke at the conference, and Israeli President Shimon Peres spoke via video conference.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 27, 2013
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