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Hadassah Recommended for UN Advisory Role

Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations welcomed a decision by the UN Committee on Non-Government Organizations recommending that Hadassah, Womens Zionist Organization of America, be granted membership as an NGO in the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC). The recommendation, which must be approved by the full ECOSOC membership, would give Hadassah an important advisory role in the UN body with other NGO's.

"We are extremely gratified by the vote to include Hadassah, which is the world's largest womens organization and arguably, one of its most important," said Ronald S. Lauder, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents. "We want to note the extraordinary effort led by Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. This initiative would not have been possible without the ambassador's personal commitment and that one of his colleagues at the US mission. We also want to express our appreciation to those countries who voted in favor of the recommendation, which is in keeping with the spirit of the ECOSOC mandate."

The vote by the Committee on NGO's passed with nine countries in favor, five against, and three abstentions. Those in favor were the US, Turkey, Bolivia, Chile, Ethiopia, Germany, France, Romania, and Colombia. Countries which voted against the recommendations were Sudan, Algeria, Cuba, Lebanon, and Pakistan. China, Russia and India abstained; Tunisia was absent for the vote.

The COP and its UN Committee, which has worked closely with Hadassah and the US mission to achieve this important victory, will now turn its attention to the final vote before the full ECOSOC, which is expected to take place this summer. "We must make sure that this decision is upheld when the resolution comes up for a final vote," said Richard Heideman, Chairman of the COP United Nations Committee. Regrettably, there are some countries which for purely political reasons, want to deny the application of so valued an NGO. Hadassah's presence as an advisor to the United Nations can only be reaffirming and positive."


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