B’nai B’rith Engages in Advocacy with World Leaders During Opening of New U.N. General Assembly Session
The high-level opening segment of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly commences this week in New York and a B’nai B’rith International delegation is on the ground, meeting with numerous presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and other senior officials. The delegation, including B’nai B’rith senior members, partners and professionals from around the country, is led by International President Allan J. Jacobs, Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin and Chairman of the Executive Committee Gary P. Saltzman.
B’nai B’rith is addressing a number of key priorities including Iran’s uncurbed drive to acquire nuclear weapons capability; terrorist threats such as those posed by Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS, which continue to plague the Middle East, and the perpetual politicization of the world body. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently reiterated his threat to “internationalize” the conflict with Israel, suggesting that he would direct through the United Nations an ultimatum for Israeli compliance with his political demands. He is expected to address the organization later this week.
“We come to the United Nations at an important time, between Iran’s disregard for the international community’s calls for nuclear non-proliferation, the fighting in Israel and Gaza during the summer and the predictable attacks on Israel in U.N. forums. B’nai B’rith will be working hard to get our message out there on these and many more important issues as we meet with dozens of world leaders,” Jacobs said.
B’nai B’rith—which coordinated meetings on behalf of a broad coalition of major international and American Jewish organizations—has already met with leaders of countries including France, Australia, Italy and Greece.
Additionally, B’nai B’rith will be monitoring speeches by heads of state when the assembly’s General Debate opens, as well as a U.N. Security Council meeting chaired by President Obama, who will be pushing a global travel ban on individuals recruited to fight for foreign terrorist groups.
“B’nai B’rith engages in global advocacy throughout the year, and has done so since the United Nations’ inception. The longevity of our organization gives us an authoritative voice on the important policy issues of the day,” Mariaschin said. “Advocating our values and interests at such a high level presents a distinct opportunity, and we seek to maximize it by reaching out to countries on virtually every continent.”
B’nai B’rith is once again integrating a group of young leaders from the national Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi in a number of its high-level meetings in New York.