Israel’s UN delegation on Tuesday participated for the first time in a meeting of in one of the main groups coordinating human rights at the United Nations.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor praised Israel’s inclusion in the JUSCANZ group at the UN’s Third Committee. The caucus is a subgroup of Western states that include Japan, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, among others.

“It’s repairing a historic injustice,” he said in a statement. “It’s a day of celebration not just for Israel, but for all who hold human close to their hearts. Israel’s joining the group is another expression of international appreciation for Israeli democracy.”

The UN Third Committee deals with “social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues that affect people all over the world,” including refugees, women’s issues, children’s issues and the right to self-determination.

Noa Furman, an Israeli diplomat at the UN, sat in a meeting of the JUSCANZ group ahead of a session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, to be held in March.

“They received us naturally and our participation in discussions earned great appreciation,” she said. “Israel naturally belongs among the states leading the issue of human rights. We’ve already begun to work and we are focusing now on advancing decisions to the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN.”

The United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power Monday, September 16, 2013 (photo credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power Monday, September 16, 2013 (photo credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Israel’s inclusion in JUSCANZ is the culmination of diplomatic efforts that began in 2010, and were realized in large part thanks to the US and Canada.

Ambassador Samantha Power, the US’s representative at the UN, said in a statement that “Israel’s participation in the JUSCANZ caucus in the United Nations’s Third Committee is an important step toward securing Israel’s full participation across the UN system.

“The United States has long been a tireless advocate for Israel’s full participation and inclusion at the UN,” she said. “Today’s inclusion, coupled with our successful efforts to secure Israel’s membership in the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) last November in Geneva, are important steps in the right direction.”