New York - The American Jewish Committee today urged members of the U.S. House of Representatives to support legislation aimed at bringing about reform of the United Nations.
"The opportunity to achieve wide-ranging UN reform is unprecedented this year, and must be seized," wrote AJC President E. Robert Goodkind and Executive Director David A. Harris in the letter.
AJC has long embraced the founding principles and vital role of the UN. Indeed, 60 years ago, AJC representatives participating in San Francisco at the founding conference of the UN successfully urged the inclusion of human rights provisions in the UN Charter.
However, in recent years AJC has been increasingly concerned as the world body often failed to stand up to terrorism, mass murder and even genocide, while the UN also was advancing political agendas at odds with the UN Charter and American national interests, in particular the inherent discrimination against Israel.
"Fundamental reform is imperative so the UN can fulfill its vital responsibilities - including protecting human rights, preventing genocide, providing humanitarian assistance, and facilitating conflict prevention and resolution," AJC wrote.
In the letter, AJC saluted the efforts of Reps. Henry Hyde and Tom Lantos, both of whom have introduced legislation, to affirm fundamental UN reform as a national priority. AJC also applauded the two for recognizing that UN reform must address the institution's profound bias against Israel, and welcomed their proposed bills designed to rid the body of bureaucracies antagonistic to the cause of Middle East peace, such as the UN-funded Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinians, and the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices.
"Committed to an effective and efficient world body, the United States can and must use its influence to effect broad-based UN reform," AJC wrote.