An unprecedented number of ministers and deputy ministers, 23, plan to attend a conference on science policy in Jerusalem later this month, Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis said on Wednesday.
Among the countries whose ministers are attending the event, titled “The First International Ministerial-Level Scientific Conference: Thinking Out of the Box,” are India, Argentina, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.
Even more countries plan to send lower-level delegations, including chief scientists and other officials.
According to Akunis, his flagship event is set to break an all-time record for ministers from foreign countries participating in one event of Israel.
“The professionals said to expect only 10 countries to participate,” Akunis said.
“This is an unprecedented diplomatic achievement; 23 is a massive number by every parameter.”
The minister said the positive response “is a great show of faith in Israeli science and technology, and shows how Israel is admired around the world.
“It’s a salute to Israel, and I’m glad I initiated it. I’m happy to see the international admiration,” Akunis added.
“We hear talk about international isolation. That’s not only false, but we have other countries courting us.”
The Science Ministry’s three-day conference is set to begin on May 28, and will open with an event in Jerusalem, featuring a greeting by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. All Israeli cabinet ministers and MKs were invited to attend.
The ministerial-level attendees from around the world will attend a dinner at the Knesset, during which Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein plans to address them, and Akunis to talk to them about Israeli democracy.