AJC's Andrew Baker Reappointed to Key OSCE Post on Anti-Semitism

Jan 07, 2016, 16:24 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, Jan. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rabbi Andrew Baker, AJC's director of International Jewish Affairs, has been reappointed Personal Representative on Combating Anti-Semitism for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). This significant, high-level position was created by the OSCE in 2005; Baker was first appointed to the post in 2009, and has been reappointed each year since then by the rotating chairmanship.

"Your task makes an important contribution to the OSCE work to combat intolerance and discrimination which will be a priority of the German OSCE Chairmanship in the human dimension," said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeir, who is the current OSCE Chairperson-in-Office.

The OSCE organization's 57 members include the governments of all European and Eurasia countries, Canada and the United States.

"I am grateful to Minister Steinmeier for reappointing me to this critical position, which allows me to focus OSCE efforts on combating anti-Semitism, and I know that Germany intends to make this one of the priorities of its OSCE Chairmanship," said Rabbi Baker.

"Unfortunately, as we begin the New Year, many European Jewish communities continue to face serious security threats, while lesser incidents of physical and verbal harassment have become commonplace," said Baker. "Reversing these trends will require the active engagement of governments and civil society alike."  

Baker has worked intensively with governments and Jewish communities across Europe on programs and policies to combat anti-Semitism. He regularly visits European capitals to assess threats to Jewish communities and how to confront them. In that spirit, he was intimately involved in a ground-breaking OSCE project to train law enforcement on monitoring and countering hate crimes.

"With the rise in anti-Semitism across Europe, OSCE efforts to combat this scourge are increasingly important," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.

"We are proud that the OSCE continues to display such trust in Rabbi Baker, to help guide this essential intergovernmental organization in confronting anti-Semitism," said Harris. "Indeed, it puts him in an absolutely unique position, with the involvement of the 57 governments of the OSCE, to prepare strategies for addressing the dangers that today cast a long shadow on Europe and its Jewish communities."


SOURCE American Jewish Committee