The Conference of Presidents, an umbrella group representing 51 national Jewish organizations, expressed deep concern over the announcement that the Palestinians will now head the United Nation’s powerful G77 bloc next year.
“It is completely inappropriate for a non-member state to preside over the G77,” said Arthur Stark, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman/CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, in a statement.
“What was once a group created to facilitate the economic advancement of underdeveloped nations will now be a platform for distortion and incitement, augmenting the well-documented anti-Israel bias in the U.N. This bloc helps assure the anti-Israel majority in the General Assembly.”
Created in 1964, the G77 currently consists of 134 U.N. member states comprising more than 80 percent of the world’s population and two-thirds of the U.N.’s member states. It is a powerful voting bloc in the United Nations and plays a particularly important role in budgetary matters.
While the Palestinians are not full members of the world body, gaining the status of a “non-member observer state” in 2012, they are recognized by 136 U.N. members.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon also called the Palestinian appointment “unfortunate.”
“The goal of the Group of 77 originally was to facilitate the economic advancement of underdeveloped nations. It is unfortunate that it will now become a platform for spreading lies and incitement,” he said. “This will most certainly not promote the G77’s goals.”
The current head of the G77 is Egypt. The decision to formalize the Palestinian appointment will be made in late September on the sidelines of the General Assembly’s opening session.