23 September 2009
Appearance of Iran's President at United Nations General Assembly in New York:
World Jewish Congress President: "UN members must stand up and walk out when Ahmadinejad speaks!"
Ronald S. Lauder also criticizes diplomacy "that goes nowhere"
23 September 2009
World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder on Wednesday reiterated calls on United Nations member states to send a strong signal to Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he speaks to the General Assembly in New York. "It is now time for the United Nations to tell Ahmadinejad that his policies and behavior, both at home and abroad, are completely unacceptable and that they will not be tolerated any longer within the UN system," Lauder declared. He called on delegations to boycott Ahmadinejad's speech, or at least to walk out if he makes anti-Semitic statements or repeats his denial of the Holocaust. The WJC president welcomed that several governments, including Canada, European Union members and the United States, had already signaled their readiness to leave the hall should Ahmedinejad repeat his past performances.
"The UN should not give Ahmadinejad the public platform he craves. If many chairs in the assembly hall remain empty during his speech, this message would ring loud and clear. The UN was set up to overcome precisely the kind of racism and bigotry that Ahmadinejad espouses. 70 years after World War II, the world needs to stand up to dictators and not be bogged down in endless rounds of appeasement and the kind of diplomacy that goes nowhere," Ronald S. Lauder said, referring to upcoming talks with Iran by the Six Nations group. "Tehran will not give up its dangerous nuclear program unless real pressure and strict sanctions are applied," he stated.
In letters sent this week to all UN ambassadors Lauder urged them "not to lend legitimacy to Ahmadinejad’s hateful rhetoric" by their presence in the room. The WJC also conducted a petition campaign via its website (www.worldjewishcongress.org), which attracted signatures from citizens in 192 countries.
The World Jewish Congress is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 92 countries around the world. The WJC serves as the diplomatic arm of the Jewish people to governments and international organizations, including the United Nations. It has consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Committee.
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