Bnai Brith has role in promoting solution to Middle East conflict –

In facing global challenges including the Middle East conflict, the world needs B’nai B’rith and groups like it to be engaged across the international agenda, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said in a message to the organization.Addressing the B’nai B’rith International Annual Mission to the UN in New York on Monday on Mr. Annan’s behalf, Angela Kane, Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said participants had come to the world body “at a time when the United Nations and the Jewish community continue to move closer together.”The UN, said Mr. Annan in his message, “is fully engaged in the struggle against anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination.” He cited last year’s General Assembly special session to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps and this year’s first commemoration of an annual international day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust.“The United Nations is, I hope and believe, what it always should be – a place where Jews and the State of Israel can feel at home,” he said.“We should be pleased about these developments, because our world faces immense challenges, and we need B’nai B’rith and groups like it to be engaged across the global agenda,” Mr. Annan stressed. Among others, he said their input is crucial in such areas as human rights, the prevention of genocide and other crimes against humanity, and tackling the Middle East conflict.“B’nai B’rith also has a continuing role to play in promoting a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he said, stressing that the UN, with its partners in the Quartet, “remains strongly committed to the goal of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side, within secure borders, in peace and with mutual respect.”The diplomatic Quartet, a key international partnership in the Middle East peace process, comprises the UN, European Union (EU), Russia and the United States.