WASHINGTON (Oct. 13)
B’nai B’rith International and the World Jewish Congress announced that they have agreed to operate jointly a non-governmental organization (NGO) office in Geneva to monitor United Nations programs directed from that city. Geneva is the headquarters for the UN’s handling of such issues as human rights, refugees and the International Labor Organization.
B’nai B’rith president Gerald Kraft and WJC president Edgar Bronfman said in a joint statement that the two organizations believe they “will be contributing an important service” by maintaining close scrutiny over the UN’s activities, including UN sponsored conferences, emanating from Geneva.
“Our primary concern is for the United Nations to live up to its charter as an organization for peace, not for divisive politicization,” the two Jewish leaders said. “We are concerned about attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel as a veiled attack on Israel. Jews, and democracies throughout the world.”
The two Jewish leaders said that the jointly sponsored office, which has been run by the WJC alone for many years, will work in cooperation with both their constituents and the world’s democratic governments. Materials from Geneva will be developed for the publication by the International Council of B’nai B’rith and the executive committee of the WJC.
The office will be directed by Daniel Lack of Great Britain, who has represented the WJC in Geneva since 1975. Lack, a graduate of Oxford University, is an attorney. Prior to joining the staff of the WJC, he served as legal advisor to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee for 17 years.
“We are looking forward to a strong and effective partnership that will benefit the entire world Jewish community, ” Kraft and Bronfman said.