B’nai B’rith International is outraged that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil next week.
This conference, scheduled for June 20-22, is a follow-up to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) that was also held in Rio de Janeiro.
While reports indicate a bilateral meeting between Ahmadinejad and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has not yet been confirmed, B’nai B’rith urges the Brazilian president not to meet with the Iranian leader.
“That this human rights abuser is likely to be given a featured speaking role at the United Nations conference is inexcusable. The presence of a president whose country is seeking to develop nuclear weapons appearing at an environmental conference smacks of hypocrisy. This man who spews hatred and denies the Holocaust has no place at a conference meant to discuss poverty, social equity and environmental protection,” said B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs.
“This is a conference meant to discuss environmental issues. The presence of Ahmadinejad will surely derail the conference and change the focus to an attack on Israel, the United States and the Western world. Protection of the environment is too important an issue to allow it to be overshadowed by what is likely to be a venomous diatribe by a human rights violator,” said B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin.