Alon Tal
Israel Studies Vol. 25, No. 1 (Spring 2020), pp. 122-148

Israel’s influential role in the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification since the agreement’s inception is explored. Several factors can explain the country’s successful diplomatic interaction. A combination of: low international interest and competition for expertise about the issue; Israel’s unique, achievements in combatting desertification as part of its agricultural and forestry activities; and Professor Uriel Safriel’s extraordinary stature in the field—contribute to its exceptional involvement. The case constitutes a “proof of concept” for Israel’s potential to be effectively engaged in other UN programs. This will require greater government commitment and contribution to international initiatives, along with a willingness to authorize experts and academics to represent the country in additional global frameworks.