The Board of Deputies, UK affiliate of the World Jewish Congress, sent a delegation of 11 voting members and 3 observers to the organisation’s plenary in New York in which more than 90 countries were represented. The plenary, which included elections to the executive, the debating of resolutions and a number of break out sessions and panels, was addressed by key figures from the political sphere including UN Secretary General António Guterres, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon and Israeli Transport and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz.
UN Secretary General Guterres stressed that “Israel needs to be treated like any other UN member state” and that it had an “undeniable right to exist and to live in peace and security with its neighbours.” “The modern form of antisemitism is the denial of the existence of the State of Israel,” he added. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley in her address said: “I can safely say that it’s a new day for Israel at the United Nations. I know it’s a new day for Israel at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.” Following her speech, President Jonathan Arkush personally thanked the Ambassador for her resolute stance against the bias at the United Nations and her strong words of support for Israel and the Jewish people.
Chief Executive Gillian Merron chaired a session on what it’s like to be a Jewish parliamentarian while Jonathan Arkush moderated a panel with three Jewish Nobel laureates. Both Gillian and Jonathan congratulated Ambassador Ronald Lauder on his reelection as President of the World Jewish Congress.
WJC-Jewish Diplomatic Corps members Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and International Relations Officer David Walsh participated in a meeting with the WJC’s Lauren Rose and Jonathan Assouline (Canadian delegation – CIJA) with the UK’s Permanent Mission to the UN to discuss the UK’s role in the UN Security Council, recent statements by the Government on the UN Human Rights Council, the need to ensure that the Iran deal is implemented and that the country is held to account for its support of Hezbollah and the rise in antisemitism in various countries.
The voting members of the UK delegation were Jonathan Arkush (Head of Delegation), Gillian Merron, Phil Rosenberg, David Walsh, International Division Vice Chair Edwin Shuker, Noemi Zell, Stephanie Brada, Josh Seitler, Amos Schonfield, Roslyn Pine and Laurence Brass. A Jewish News report on the plenary can be read here.