ADL Welcomes Annan Initiative to Reform U.N.
New York, NY, March 23, 2005 …The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed Secretary General Kofi Annan's initiative for reforming the United Nations, especially as it pertains to the issues of terrorism and human rights.
Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
Kofi Annan's reform plan for the United Nations, which encompasses a broad range of initiatives for change, including an expanded Security Council, contains significant possibilities for progress regarding terrorism and possibly human rights.
On the subject of terrorism, the plan is refreshingly clear, compared to past UN equivocations, in condemning any purposeful attacks on civilians, no matter the alleged grievance. It calls for a definition of terrorism which, in effect, would end the rationalization of suicide bombs in Israel as resistance to occupation. If implemented, this reform could have a significant impact on the war against terror and in isolating those who engage in terror against Israel.
On the subject of human rights, it is heartening that the report speaks to the failure of the UN Human Rights Commission, largely because some of the greatest violators of human rights join the Commission to protect themselves from such charges. It recommends that a smaller Human Rights Council be established, its members elected only by support of two-thirds of the General Assembly. Clearly, this is an effort to exclude the more egregious human rights violators who would not be able to muster that kind of support. Whether this will fundamentally change the absurd and dangerous anti-Israel bias that has characterized the work of the Commission would have to be determined.
Now that the leader of the UN has taken the lead, the test will be whether the UN follows through on his recommendations.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.