April 25, 2012 – New York – The foreign ministers of Brazil, Canada, Cyprus and Germany are coming to Washington next week to address the AJC 2012 Global Forum.
This annual event of the premier global Jewish advocacy organization will bring together more than 1200 participants from across the United States and 50 Jewish communities around the world. In addition, a group of 50 Israeli officers, from the Israel National Defense College (MABAL), will be participating.
“We are thrilled that four important foreign ministers are making a special effort to join AJC at our signature event,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “For 48 hours in Washington, we will gather as global Jewish activists to learn from renowned experts, to engage one another in discussion and organizing, and then take action on issues of priority concern to the Jewish community.”
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will speak on May 3 at the World Leaders Plenary session. A senior Obama administration official is also expected to speak that evening. And, led by French Jewish leaders, there will be a memorial tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack in Toulouse last month.
The day before, at the opening plenary, Brazilian Foreign Minister Antionio de Aguiar Patriota will engage in a conversation with AJC Executive Director David Harris on the geopolitical and economic role of Brazil in the 21st century.
Also speaking Wednesday evening will be Ambassador Ron Prosor, the Israeli ambassador to the UN. He will address the topic of Israel at the UN: Challenges and Opportunities.
Confronting Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions will be explored at a plenary session on May 3. Panelists include Sohrab Ahmari, an Iranian-American journalist and scholar, and contributor to the Wall Street Journal and The New Republic; Ronen Bergman, a senior Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent and contributor to The New York Times; and Patrick Clawson, director of research at The Washington Institute.
The Global Forum also will feature the annual AJC “Great Debate,” on May 4, between Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Wiliam Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, on the 2012 presidential election.
For Global Forum attendees, one of the highlights of the annual conference is the range of private dinners with foreign ambassadors, U.S. administration officials, leaders of partner non-governmental organizations, and other notable experts. This year there are more than 30 private dinners, including with the German Minister of the Interior and with 16 ambassadors.
In addition, pursuant to the conference theme, “From Insight to Action,” Global Forum delegates will participate in informational and training sessions before leaving the hotel on Thursday for several hours of advocacy on Capitol Hill, with the White House, State Department and Pentagon, and with interreligious organizations.
Following the Global Forum, AJC will sponsor the ACCESS 20/20 Weekend for hundreds of young activists from around the world. Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren will deliver the keynote address at the start of the gathering
AJC, founded in 1906 and with headquarters in New York, maintains 26 regional offices across the United States, nine overseas posts and 31 international partnerships.