NEW YORK (May. 23)
The World Jewish Congress will be the first — and only–Jewish organization to address the United Nations General Assembly when its president, Edgar Bronfman, addresses world leaders there on June 25 during the Special Session on Disarmament, it was reported by the WJC.
The WJC has formal standing at the UN as an accredited international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), and, as the senior Jewish NGO, has consultative status under the UN Charter. That status applies to the UN Economic and Social Council. But an exception was mode in the case of the Special Session, the WJC explained, because of what was viewed as the overriding importance of disarmament and the major stake that all peoples, not just states, have in world peace.
The WJC was one of a limited number of NGOs invited to address the Special Session. It was selected at a joint consultation of the NGO Disarmament Committees in Geneva and New York which decided that international representatives of the major religious faiths should be asked to speak on the issue. The WJC will discuss the challenges of disarmament from the Jewish perspective.
The religious viewpoint on disarmament will also be presented at the Special Session by the World Council of Churches and the World Muslim Congress. Earlier this month, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith had asked the UN to investigate whether the World Muslim Congress qualified for continued NGO status.
In a letter to Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar, ADL national director Nathan Perlmutter said there was evidence that the World Muslim Congress has been disseminating anti-Jewish books by an American neo-Nazi to members of the U.S. Senate and the British Parliament.