In a secret ballot of 193 countries, Israel was on Monday elected to chair the United Nations' legal committee for the first time since its inception in 1949. It would head one of the six permanent committees of the U.N.
Chairing the committee would give Israel high chances to have a "higher profile" in the routine affairs of the U.N., Reuters reported.
"I am proud to be the first Israeli elected to this position. Israel is a world leader in International Law and in fighting terrorism. We are pleased to have the opportunity to share our knowledge with countries of the world," the agency quoted U.N. ambassador Danny Danon's statement as saying.
U.N.'s legal committee overseas issues related to international law. The U.N. General Assembly has six standing committees that report to it on issues such as disarmament, economic and financial issues, human rights, U.N. budget and legal issues and decolonisation.
Israel has in the past presided over other "less prestigious" committees at the U.N. along with co-chairing the General Assembly but the Middle East nation has never headed one of the General Assembly's main committees.
"The sixth committee is the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the general assembly," according to the U.N., the Times of Israel reported.
"One of Ambassador Danon's first tasks in his new position will be to further the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism," Israel's delegation to the U.N. in New York said in a press release.
Danon was reportedly nominated for the role by the Western European and other groups in the U.N. who were supposed to nominate a chairman for the committee.