David Scharia named U.N. Security Council’s top counterterrorism lawyer (WASHINGTON POST) By Colum Lynch UNITED NATIONS 07/17/12)
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UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations has promoted a former Israeli
government attorney to a job as the Security Council’s top
counterterrorism lawyer, making him the only Israeli national serving
in a senior security position within the U.N. Secretariat, Israeli
and U.N. officials said Tuesday.
David Scharia has been appointed legal coordinator for the Counter-
Terrorism Committee executive directorate, where he will oversee a
team of 12 international legal experts who advise the 15-nation
Security Council on its counterterrorism efforts.
The appointment would not typically be notable were it not so
uncommon for Israelis to reach the upper levels at the United
Nations. The organization helped give birth to Israel, but the recent
history between the country and the U.N. has been contentious.
Of the more than 44,000 international employees within the United
Nations, only 124 are Israeli, according to the U.N. None serve in
the top ranks of the most sensitive political jobs, which are
responsible for maintaining international security, mediating peace
deals and coordinating humanitarian assistance.
U.N. officials, however, say that while Israel has a relatively small
presence it is not considered “underrepresented” because Israel’s
population, at under 8 million, is relatively small.
“I am very proud to welcome a very talented Israeli into the U.N’s
senior ranks,” said Ron Prosor, Israel’s U.N. ambassador. “One of my
priorities is to bring many more bright minds from the Holy Land into
the U.N.’s halls, where Israelis have long been underrepresented.”
Scharia previously served as the Israel attorney general’s lead
lawyer for counterterrorism cases before the Israeli Supreme Court.
He began working for the United Nations in September 2005 as a legal
adviser to the Security Council’s counterterrorism executive
The directorate was established in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks on the United States, with the aim of promoting
international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and to prod
governments into passing stronger anti-terrorism laws. In addition to
advising the council, Scharia serves as the U.N. liaison with the
Global Counter Terrorism Forum, a U.S.-backed anti-terrorism
The only other senior Israelis at the United Nations are Shari
Klugman, the executive secretary of the U.N. membership’s main budget
advisory board, and Natalia Nedel, the chief of the U.N. peacekeeping
procurement section. Daphna Shraga, an Israeli national who served as
a senior attorney in the U.N. legal affairs office, retired last
year. Dan Gillerman, Israel’s former U.N. ambassador, was elected
vice president of the General Assembly in 2005, the first Israeli
diplomat to serve in that position in 53 years. (© 2010 The
Washington Post Company 07/17/12)
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