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International

Strong U.S. Leadership Worldwide and in the United Nations

Summary of Policy and Recommendations 

  • Congress should authorize the highest funding level possible for international affairs and vital humanitarian and peacekeeping programs. These programs are critical to combating terrorism, arms proliferation and other non-conventional threats.
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  • U.S. leadership in international organizations has been critical to enshrining key human rights principles in international treaties and standards.


  • The United Nations continues to exhibit bias against the Jewish State.  The U.S. must continue to work against one-sided anti-Israel resolutions in the General Assembly and Security Council and promote Israel’s full participation in the United Nations system. 
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  • As the United Nations Human Rights Council prepares for the April 2009 Durban Review Conference, the U.S. should maintain its consistent position that it will not give legitimacy to a gathering of nations where hatred of Jews and scorn for the national aspirations of the Jewish people are cloaked in the vernacular of human rights.

Background 

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the rise of global terrorism has demonstrated the importance of U.S. engagement to promote tolerance, democracy, religious freedom and human rights worldwide. In support of strong U.S. global leadership, ADL urges Congress to authorize the highest funding level possible for international affairs and vital humanitarian and peacekeeping programs. These programs are critical to combating terrorism, arms proliferation and other non-conventional threats. 

U.S. leadership in international organizations has been critical to enshrining key human rights principles in international treaties and standards.  America’s leadership in organizations like the United Nations and the OSCE has been pivotal in helping secure support from governments for important initiatives in areas like Holocaust remembrance and education.  All too often, the U.S. is the stalwart against politicized, biased resolutions and initiatives that undermine human rights principles and the standards contained in the U.N. charter. 

While the United Nations played a central role in the creation of the State of Israel, the international body continues to exhibit bias against the Jewish State.  Despite attempts at reform, Israel continues to be singled out for condemnation by the newly formed Human Rights Council.  Of 10 emergency special sessions called by the U.N. General Assembly, five have focused on Israel.   Indeed – the Tenth Emergency Special Session met 12 times between 1997 and 2006, as opposed to the weeks - or month - long duration of non-Israel related sessions.  A series of virulently anti-Israel resolutions are passed each year by the General Assembly.  Israel is the only member nation of the United Nations denied full participation in the U.N. through its continued exclusion from participating in U.N. Geneva-based activities.  While this anti-Israel approach continues, there have been some positive developments in recent years, including the appointment of Israeli diplomats to U.N. positions and committees.  There has also been a concerted effort by the Secretariat to deal with the issues of anti-Semitism and Holocaust education and remembrance.  The U.S. must continue to work against one-sided anti-Israel resolutions in the General Assembly and Security Council and promote Israel’s full participation in the United Nations system.   

As the United Nations Human Rights Council prepares for the April 2009 Durban Review Conference, the U.S. should maintain its consistent position that it will not give legitimacy to a gathering of nations where hatred of Jews and scorn for the national aspirations of the Jewish people are cloaked in the vernacular of human rights. 

While the 2001 World Conference Against Racism marked an important recognition of the historic wounds of slavery, its achievements were overshadowed and the gathering discredited as the conference became a platform for anti-Jewish hatred and incitement. Some states have already made clear their intention to spotlight the plight of the Palestinians under occupation as a racism issue.  The Palestinian-Israeli dispute is not a race-based conflict and should not be singled out in the context of a conference on racism.  Further, many are concerned by the preparatory process focus on restricting freedom of expression, media and religion under the guise of opposing the “defamation of religion,” which is tantamount to a global blasphemy code.   

The U.S. should urge allies to similarly reject the insertion of bias and hatred into the conference agenda and to condition their participation on whether the conference adheres to human rights standards and rejects hatred against any group under the guise of criticism of one country.
Printable Version
ADL Recommendations to RNC and DNC Platforms (.pdf)
Related Press Release
ADL Submits Policy Priorities to Democratic and Republican Platform Committees (7/21/08)
RELATED
Statements on Issues Related to the 2008 Campaign
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