BUENOS AIRES - The Latin American affiliate of the World Jewish Congress is hosting a two-day gathering of dozens of parliamentarians from across the region in Buenos Aires on Monday and Tuesday, for a special meeting on advancing legislation to prevent and combat terrorist attacks. The events are scheduled to coincide with the 23rd anniversary commemoration of the terrorist attack on Argentina’s Jewish community center (AMIA) which killed 85 people and wounded hundreds more.
U.S. Congressman Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and chairman of the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians (ICJP), said ahead of the commemorations:
“On this somber anniversary, we remember the attack on AMIA, the Jewish community center of Argentina. With the support of the Iranian regime, Iranian proxy terrorists murdered 85 innocent people in this brutal attack.
“To this day, the families and loved ones of those victims await justice. Despite international outcry and a stack of Interpol red notices, Iran refuses to investigate this crime and hold the perpetrators accountable. I commend the World Jewish Congress and Latin American Jewish Congress for working together with parliamentarians in the region in the effort to combat and prevent terrorism,” Engel said.
The events opened on Monday morning with a meeting of the ICJP (a project of the World Jewish Congress), be followed by the ninth edition of the Latin American Parliamentarians' Meeting, a gathering of lawmakers of all backgrounds. During the opening meeting of the ICJP, Argentinian National Deputy Waldo Wolff was named regional vice president of the body. This was the first ICJP meeting to be held in Latin America.
The parliamentarians are participating in a series of activities organized by the Latin American Jewish Congress and attend the official commemoration of the 1994 attack at the AMIA headquarters. Chief of Cabinet of Argentina, Marcos Peña, and the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Emilio Monzó, will also participate in the meetings.
"We are committed to working together with parliamentarians to advance a legal framework that will serve in the fight against terrorism," said Claudio Epelman, executive director of the LAJC. "The importance of the meeting lies in the fact that legislators from other Latin American countries can take more knowledge about the terrible attack and discuss actions for countries to take joint actions," he said.
On the sidelines of the parliamentarian meeting, the LAJC will also hold a gathering of its board of directors, chaired by LAJC President Adrian Werthein. WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer will be in attendance at all events over the course of July 17 and 18.