(Communicated by the Foreign Minister's Bureau)
At a ceremony held on Wednesday morning (January 15) in Geneva, Israel was officially admitted as full member
, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman represented Israel at the ceremony held at the CERN Globe of Science and Innovation, at the end of which the Israeli flag was added to the line of flags representing the member states of the organization. FM Liberman said that it was a source of great pride for him to see the Israeli flag raised, symbolizing Israel's participation in the forefront of world science and progress. He added that the admission of Israel as a full member of the organization is a recognition of the high level and quality of scientific research in Israel and its contribution to the welfare of the human race.
FM Liberman noted also that Israel's admission to CERN is the outcome of years of diplomatic efforts spearheaded by the Israel Foreign Ministry. Israel is the 21th member state of CERN, and the only country outside Europe to have achieved full membership.
FM Liberman expressed thanks to the leadership of CERN, headed by Director-General Rolf Heuer, and to Prof. Ruth Arnon, President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, chair of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education, and the dozens of Israeli scientists and doctoral students present at the ceremony.Left to right: Mr. Aharon Leshno-Yaar, Deputy Director General, UN and Int. Org, Division, MFA; Prof. Eliezer Rabinovici, Hebrew University, Scientific Representative to CERN; Prof. Ruth Arnon, President, The Israeli Academy of Science and Humanities; Mr. Avigdor Liberman, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel; Prof. Rolf Heuer, Director-General of the CERN; Prof. Agnieszka Zalewska, President of CERN Council; Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, Chairman, Planning and Budgeting Committee, Council for Higher Education; Prof. Giora Mikenberg, ATLAS Collaboration, Weizmann Institute, Israeli delegate to CERN Finance Committee; H.E. Eviatar Manor, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN, Geneva. (Copyright: Laurent Egli)Remarks by Foreign Minister Liberman
Director General of CERN, Professor Rolf Heuer,
Professor Ruth Arnon,
Israeli representative at CERN, Professor Eliezer Rabinovich, distinguished guests, goodmorning. I am very proud to participate today in the ceremony to mark Israel's membership of the Center of European Nuclear Research - CERN. Israel is a country that strives to achieve scientific excellence, a goal that is crucial in facing the challenges of the 21st full membership of CERN demonstrates the scientific community's recognition of the quality and level of scientific research in Israel and its contribution to the welfare of mankind. Israel's full membership of CERN is the result of an ongoing diplomatic effort, led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, to upgrade Israel's status in this prestigious institution. Israel has been an Observer at CERN since 1991. The excellence of our science, coupled with the tireless diplomatic efforts to secure our membership, have been successful. Many countries have helped us along the way, and we appreciate their efforts which enabled us to reach this occasion.
Today, about 40 Israeli scientists from some of the finest academic institutions in Israel,including the Hebrew University, the Technion, and the Weitzman Institute, divide their time between Israel and CERN in Switzerland. Israeli research is synonymous with innovation, daring, and a constant quest for breakthroughs. We are proud that Israel creates more than 1 percent of the scientific knowledge in the world, even though our population is only one thousandth of the world's population. Israel boasts the highest number of scientists, technicians, and engineers per capita in the world
, 140 per 10,000 individuals. Six Israeli scientists have won Nobel prizes in the field of chemistry over the last decade, and two Israelis have won the Nobel prize in economics.
In 2011 Israel was ranked by Newsweek's Daily Beast as the 4th the world. Israeli scientists have contributed to the advancement of agriculture, computer science, electronics, genetics, health care, optics, solar energy, and engineering.
Israel is one of the first 12 space faring countries in the world, which has successfully launched a satellite into space. Since 2000, Israel has been a member of EUREKA, the pan-European research and development funding and coordination organization, and held the rotating chairmanship of the organization in 2010–2011.
As U.S. inventor Thomas Edison said, "Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." Israel's success comes from a mixture of extremely talented human beings, and plenty of hard work. Israel's government has played an important role in helpingprioritize the development of this human potential. Israel is first in the world in national investment in Research and Development, which makes up almost 5 percent of our GDP, about 10 billion dollars. Some inventions that were developed in Israel make breakthroughs which help improve people's lives. For example, Prof. Zeev Zalevsky from Bar-Ilan University has developed a bionic contact lens to help the blind see. Scientists in Rehovot at Israel's SciVac company have pioneered the world’s only third-generation vaccine against Hepatitis B, the virus that causes 1.2 million deaths every year.Israel's goal, and the international community's task, is to ensure that science and technology should be used for progress, growth, and saving lives.
These tools must not be used to inflict terror, wreak destruction, or to create weapons of mass destruction.
In the Bible it says, "Ki mitsiyon tetse tora," which means, "Grom the land of Zion, the law will go forth." In the same spirit - from the land of Israel, great scientific contributions have gone forth, for the benefit of humanity. Despite being located in a sea of political instability, Israel continues to contribute and share our know-how with developing countries. Joining CERN will further enable our scientists to learn and teach, to participate and share, to develop and invent.
In conclusion, I would like to congratulate the Israeli scientists here at CERN for theirachievements. Their work has created the opportunity to join this most prestigious institution. I would like to congratulate Israel's diplomats, who managed the process of membership from the outset. I would also like to congratulate the members of the council of CERN, the Director General and all the management for your decision.
Thank you very much.