Friday, October 7, 2011

IAEA General Conference 2011


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference convened on
September 19, 2011 in Vienna for its annual meeting. Common to these conferences is the
injection of politics into the discussions, i.e., proposals by the Arab nations, headed by
Egypt, concerning Israel’s nuclear capabilities. Egypt views the annual conference as a

proper forum for advancing its efforts to dismantle these alleged capabilities.

In this sense, this year’s conference was no different from its predecessors. Two draft
resolutions relating to Israel were proposed: “Israel’s Nuclear Capabilities,” and
“Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East.” Advance diplomatic activity by
Arab states focused especially on obtaining support for the first resolution. In the last two
years, this resolution has become the primary battleground between Israel and the Arab
states and the yardstick for judging the success or failure of Israeli diplomacy. Behind this
year's intensive diplomatic efforts conducted by both sides lay the Arab failure in last
year’s vote on the proposal (51-46). Thus, the Arab effort focused on an attempt to
generate a change in the balance of power, while the Israeli effort (with
American/European assistance) aimed to repeat last year’s success. In the end, estimating
that they would not be able to guarantee a majority in the conference plenum, the Arab
nations decided to withdraw the draft resolution.

How can the fact that Israel and its allies scored a diplomatic coup in such a hostile arena
for the second straight year be explained? Does this indicate a new trend whereby most
members are no longer willing to support the Arabs singling out Israel for its nuclear
activities? Hovering in the background of the General Conference discussions and the
addresses by many of the Arab speakers were the IAEA Forum scheduled for November
and the conference on a WMD-free zone in the Middle East scheduled for 2012, decided
on at the 2010 NPT Review Conference. Do the results of the IAEA General Conference
impact on the two forthcoming gatherings, and if so, how?

Some would explain the Arab failure by the difficulty in agreeing on a uniform stance andinadequate inter-Arab coordination, apparently in light of the Arab spring, which deflected the attention of the Arab nations towards what they regarded as more urgent issues. In
addition, Israel’s success may be attributed to an improved diplomatic campaign and
better coordination with the United States and European Union member nations. The latter
focused on the negative contribution that would be made by a resolution singling out
Israel, given the effort to build an atmosphere of trust on the eve of the IAEA Forum
Conference and the efforts to convene the 2012 conference. In this context, the EU was
able to point to the success of the seminar it held this past July in Brussels. Thus unlike in
2010, once the Arab nations understood that they had no chance to win a vote, they
decided to withdraw the resolution, thereby sparing themselves a second straight loss.
They explained their decision not to bring the resolution to a vote as a goodwill gesture in
the context of the IAEA Conference and the related events.
Read the full report here.

While it's great that their resolution to single out Israel on the basis of anti-Semitism, bias, and lies, this is a clear example of how the Arab states hold a majority in the U.N. and U.N. affiliated organizations and are thus able to condemn and condemn and condemn Israel for absolutely no reason.  You can't take them seriously.

This shouldn't be allowed in the first place.  Something needs to be done.  The U.N. has lost all legitimacy - it's about time they regain some.

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