ROME (Nov. 19)
The General Assembly of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization approved today an agreement with the Arab League recognizing the League as spokesman for its member states in the Middle East but not as the regional organization for the area for FAO programs.
In the absence of the French delegation, which was unwilling to participate in approval of the agreement, Israel registered the only objection. Israel opposed the amended agreement, even though it marked defeat for the Arab League’s bid for recognition by the FAO as a regional body because Israel opposes FAO agreements with any political organization.
Gideon Raphael, the Israel delegate, told the plenary session that the FAO “should be careful when considering formal association with a political organization, particularly when its policies are directed against member states” of the UN “in violation of the UN charter and FAO constitution.”
“We welcome FAO activities in Arab countries if these are designed to raise living standards, “Mr. Raphael said, “but our experience shows that these objectives are not promoted by formal FAO association with a political body which constitutes one of the main obstacles to their attainment.”