BRUSSELS, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Israel became the first non-European full member of the Center of European Nuclear Research (CERN), after a unanimous vote by the organization's 20-state governing council, it was announced Friday.
It was the first time CERN admitted a new member since 1999.
CERN, which was established under the auspices of UNESCO, is located in Switzerland, on the border with France. It is the largest center in the world for the study of atomic particles. The laboratory is known for its giant underground atomic collider, the Large Hadron Collider.
"The Israeli scientific community has brought a great deal to CERN over the years," said CERN director general Rolf Heuer. "I am looking forward to welcoming Israel as our 21st member state and to intensifying our collaboration."
"Israel is proud to become a full member of CERN, a flagship of European scientific research," said Eviatar Manor, Israel's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, "We look forward to contributing to the further development of our relationship for the benefit of science, development and education."
"As a member of the fact-finding mission that assessed Israel's readiness for CERN membership, I was extremely impressed with the quality of Israeli research and researchers," said CERN research director Sergio Bertolucci.
Israeli scientists have been involved in the CERN program since 1991, including on projects involving the collider. Israel has been an associate member of CERN since 2011.