World Jewish Congress Welcomed Commitment by Latin American Leaders

The presidents of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), Ronald S. Lauder, and the Latin American Jewish Congress (LAJC), Jack Terpins, have both welcomed the signing of a joint declaration by the presidents of Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela this week at a summit in Costa Sauipe (Brazil). In it, Presidents Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Hugo Chavez Frias unequivocally condemn “discrimination and religious intolerance, in particular, anti-Semitism and anti-Islamism”

The three leaders also “reaffirm the fundamental importance of the total fulfillment of the obligations derived from the International Convention on the elimination of all the forms of racial discrimination” and “renew their commitment to continue working at national, regional and international level to fortify the mechanisms of promotion and protection of the human rights, in order to assure their total respect irrespective of race, color, sex, religion, or political opinions”

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder called the signing of the declaration “an important and very welcome step.” He instigated this initiative when he met with President Hugo Chavez in Caracas on 13 August 2008, together with LAJC President Jack Terpins and Abraham Levy Benshimol, the head of the Venezuelan Jewish community. Lauder added that by supporting a clear condemnation of anti-Semitism, President Chavez had fulfilled the pledge given to WJC and LAJC leaders made at that meeting. “We appreciate this very much,” the WJC president said. The head of the Latin American Jewish Congress, Jack Terpins, also praised the three presidents for this initiative and said: “We sincerely hope that other Latin American leaders will publicly endorse the declaration. That way, Latin America could set a positive example to other countries in the world.”

The World Jewish Congress is the international organization representing Jewish communities in over 80 countries around the world. The WJC serves as the diplomatic arm of the Jewish people to governments and international organizations. The Latin American Jewish Congress is the WJC’s regional affiliate and federates the Jewish communities in Central and South America.

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