As 60th General Assembly Convenes, ADL Meetings Urge Reform of U.N. And Fair Treatment of Israel
New York, NY, September 12, 2005 … As the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly convenes with an eye toward institutional reform, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) will engage in a series of meetings with heads of state and foreign ministers in an effort to ensure that the reforms include "a fundamental sea-change" in the U.N.'s treatment of Israel.
"The United Nations was instrumental in the founding of the state of Israel and yet, sadly, for most of its 59 years it has served as a forum for ostracizing, criticizing and condemning the Jewish state and people," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "While we welcome the recognition of the need for the U.N. to examine its priorities and operations, no reform would be complete unless there is a fundamental sea-change in the manner in which the State of Israel is treated."
Coinciding with the opening of the 60th General Assembly, the League has scheduled a flurry of diplomatic meetings and briefings, including a special luncheon on September 16th in honor of Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski. ADL and its partner organizations in the Jewish community also have scheduled meetings with representatives from the European Union, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Romania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Egypt, Tunisia, and Jordan, among others.
"We are approaching the reform process with cautious optimism," said Mr. Foxman, "and we hope to prevail upon world leaders that we must not let this opportunity to reform the U.N. pass us by."
Among the League's priorities for U.N. reform:
• Address the myriad of duplicative and counter-productive anti-Israel resolutions through a streamlined and focused General Assembly;
• Abolish the anti-Israel Palestinian committees. Secretary General Kofi Annan has proposed that the GA "review all mandates older than five years." The assembly has the ability to close down the four Palestinian committees and reallocate the $2.5 million annual budget to Palestinian development projects;
• Ensure all member nations, including the State of Israel, are treated equally and are allowed to participate equally within the U.N. system;
• Make the focus of the U.N. Human Rights Commission less on Israel and more on severe human rights crises;
• Develop a comprehensive and clear definition of terrorism;
• Ensure effective international response to genocide.
In addition to encouraging U.N. reform on Israel, the League has written to the leaders of 18 nations urging them to ensure that the General Assembly adopts a proposed resolution for Holocaust commemoration, which has been presented to the GA by the United States, Canada, Australia, Russia and Israel. The resolution calls for the U.N. to designate January 27 as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust and to establish a Holocaust remembrance and education program in order to help prevent future acts of genocide.
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.