Wiesenthal Center Hails UNESCO Director-General and UN Secretary-General for Convening Antisemitism Event at General Assembly Meeting

September 27, 2018

Mark Weitzman, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Representative to the UN in NY hailed UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay (pictured) and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for convening a high level meeting to combat antisemitism at the UN yesterday.

Mr. Weitzman said “We commend UNESCO Director-General Azoulay for organizing this important event, for her forthright condemnation of antisemitism and for her pledge to join Jewish institutions in fighting antisemitism. We hope that UNESCO will maintain this commitment and reject the efforts of those who would try to use UNESCO to erase the historical link between the people of Israel and the land of Israel”.

Weitzman added, “We also commend UN Secretary-General Guterres statement that ‘antisemitism traffics in the distortion of history’ and his recognition of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. The UN and some of its agencies such as UNWRA and the Human Rights Council have long been hotbeds of antisemitism and we hope the the Secretary-General’s words will have an immediate impact upon them. Finally, we urge the Secretary-General,as we did in our meeting with him last year, to appoint a point person to monitor and combat antisemitism in the UN and globally.”

Weitzman concluded “The convening of this event by Director-General Azoulay and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the presence of the world leaders who have gathered at the UN in New York sends a significant message message that antisemitism should not be tolerated nor legitimated. We hope that the words spoken at the event were not just PR statements but represent a genuine new commitment by both organizations to fighting antisemitism”.

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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