B'nai B'rith concluded its annual leadership delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, where top staff and volunteer leaders advocated on important human rights issues and challenged the body's relentless bias against Israel.
From March 13 to March 16, more than 25 B'nai B'rith leaders and supporters, met with senior diplomats from some 40 countries, including the United States, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom. B'nai B'rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin led the delegation.
"We meet in Geneva every year to stand up for global human rights and for Israel, and let the United Nations Human Rights Council—let the world—know that the nation-state of the Jewish people is a vibrant and remarkable democracy that does not warrant the slew of shameful condemnatory resolutions the UNHRC passes every year," Saltzman and Mariaschin said from Geneva.
During the trip, the delegation held meetings with Council officials and discussed serial human rights abusers such as Syria and Iran, as well as the UNHRC's obsessive criticism of Israel under "Item 7"—a permanent agenda item aimed only at Israel.
In addition to Saltzman and Mariaschin, B'nai B'rith was represented by other senior figures from the America Continent as well as by a number of European B'nai B'rith leaders, namely Daniel Citone of Rome, President of B'nai B'rith Europe, Stéphane Teicher of Paris, Senior Vice President Eric Engelmayer of Luxembourg, Director of the London Bureau of International Affairs Jeremy Havardi, President of the Mordecai Lodge Grenoble Ada Sadoun, Azaria Acher, Nurit Braun and Richard Sadoune all of Geneva and Anita Winter of Zürich.
Michaels coordinated the meetings in Geneva together with U.N. Affairs Program Officer Oren Drori, from New York.
Part of the delegation will continue on to Paris to meet with key government officials including United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova.