EJC President Meets World Leaders at UN General Assembly

European Jewish Congress (EJC) President Pierre Besnainou updated European and world leaders on important issues for European Jewry during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, meeting on Thursday the 15th of September with Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the Council of Europe Secretary-General Terry Davis and the Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov.

These meetings were conducted in conjunction with the “United Nations 2005 World Summit”; and were among the many key meetings held between world Jewish leaders with various international power brokers.

With the Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov, Besnainou discussed Bulgaria’s planned accession to the European Union in 2007, in light of a newly formed extreme-right party that stormed the parliament in June elections, with almost 8 percent of the vote. President Besnainou voiced his concern with the party, “Ataka” and its racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric and program, which included an online publication of a list of Bulgarian Jewish personalities, calling for their eradication.

Besnainou then carried out a meeting with the Council of Europe (COE) Secretary-General Terry Davis, where the two spoke about the EJC’s presence and future plans with the Council of Europe. Besnainou stressed that as the organized representative of European Jews from 38 countries, the EJC considers the Council of Europe and its 46 member states to be a fundamental tool to work intimately with those governments that are not members of the European Union.

Finally, President Besnainou met Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, following up on the EJC Chairman of the Board of Governors Moshe Kantor’s late-August meeting. President Besnainou brought up and reaffirmed the EJC commitment to Holocaust education and memory.


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