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United Nations

Since the founding conference of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945, B’nai B’rith has led Jewish communal engagement with the world body. We maintain full-time, on-the-ground representation at U.N. agencies around the world.  

Successive leaders of the United Nations have saluted B’nai B’rith’s role. Secretary-General António Guterres recognized B’nai B’rith’s “dynamic presence as we strive to build a world of peace, prosperity and dignity for all.” Previous Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged as “influential” and “very powerful” the part played by the organization. His predecessor, Kofi Annan, said that B’nai B’rith “brings long experience and a global presence” to its work, with a “continuing role to play in promoting a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” He added that the United Nations should always be “a place where Jews and the State of Israel can feel at home.”

B’nai B’rith realizes that because the U.N. reflects the world, it is a broken home−one we must perpetually work to repair. That is why the B’nai B’rith Office of United Nations Affairs organizes yearly Holocaust remembrance programs at the U.N., ongoing advocacy at the Human Rights Council and UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), and marathons of high-level consultations with heads of state and government on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

B’nai B’rith leaders routinely meet with U.N. officials and diplomats to discuss priority Jewish concerns such as combating and eliminating anti-Semitism, ensuring equality and fair treatment for Israel at the U.N., highlighting the illicit nuclear ambitions and global terrorist activity of Iran, and protecting the fundamental rights and dignity of people everywhere.

B’nai B’rith’s Office of U.N. Affairs has also worked with the B’nai B’rith World Center–Jerusalem to bring delegations of U.N. ambassadors from around the world to Israel for critical first-hand exposure to Israel’s robust democracy, extraordinary security challenges and global humanitarianism.

B’nai B’rith has also led the international Jewish community’s response to the U.N.’s World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa, which devolved into a festival of anti-Semitic hate and broader efforts to delegitimize Israel by defaming Zionism as racist. (For more information, see here.) And B’nai B’rith partners with our affiliate, the American Jewish International Relations Institute (AJIRI-BBI), to help erode anti-Israel bias at the U.N. To learn more, please click here.

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