Secretary of State John Kerry to Open AJC Global Forum June 2

May 26, 2013, 12:31 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, May 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will open the AJC 2013 Global Forum on Sunday, June 2, in Washington, D.C. Kerry's address to AJC, the premier global Jewish advocacy organization, will be his first to a Jewish group since the the Senate approved his appointment by President Obama four months ago.

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Following Kerry, the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Greece and Poland, Israel's Justice Minister and chief negotiator with the Palestinians, and, via video, the UN Secretary-General will be among the featured speakers during the June 2-4 AJC Global Forum.

The AJC Global Forum will bring together 1,500 participants from across the United States and 60 Jewish communities around the world.

"Our annual Global Forum is a unique, energizing, highly informative experience, a must for engaged Jewish advocates," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "The opportunity to learn from and speak directly to world leaders about critically important policy issues, as well as to engage with one another from across the Jewish world, is not to be missed."

At the Statesmen's Forum on June 2, Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski will share their respective views on regional and global political and security challenges. Each country has important relations with the U.S., Israel, and the Jewish people.

On the evening of June 3, at the World Leaders Plenary, Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and, via video, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, will speak.

For Global Forum delegates, the annual conference is an opportunity to address critical issues on AJC's agenda. There are three other plenary sessions this year:

  • "Confronting the Rise of Political Islam" will be explored in a panel discussion featuring Jeffrey Goldberg, National Correspondent, The Atlantic; Eran Lerman, Deputy for Foreign Policy and International Affairs, National Security Council of Israel; and Dalia Ziada, Executive Director, Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies in Cairo.
  • "Immigration, Integration, and Identity: Building a Latino-Jewish Coalition" will be examined by a panel comprising Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa; Dina Siegel Vann, Director of AJC's Latino and Latin American Institute; and another speaker to be announced. Ray Suarez of PBS NewsHour will be the moderator.
  • The "Great Debate," another regular feature of the Global Forum, this year highlights two leading Israeli rabbis, Uri Regev and Shlomo Riskin, who will address the contentious issue of religious pluralism in Israel.

In addition, a special highlight each year for Global Forum attendees is the opportunity to engage top officials directly in a series of private dinners. This year there are more than 30 such dinners with ambassadors from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Moreover, Global Forum delegates will also participate in informational and training sessions before leaving the hotel on Tuesday afternoon for advocacy sessions on Capitol Hill, with ambassadors of key countries, and with leaders of different faith groups.

Over the May 31-June 2 weekend immediately prior to the Global Forum, AJC will sponsor the third annual ACCESS Summit for hundreds of young activists from around the world. Ambassador Ido Aharoni, consul general of Israel in New York, will deliver the keynote address at the start of the gathering, and Azerbaijan Ambassador to the U.S. Elin Suleymanov will speak at the closing session.

Participants will delve into intense discussions during the weekend on three tracks: defending Israel's legitimacy and making the case for Israel; advancing Muslim-Jewish relations; and strengthening Latino-Jewish relations.

AJC, founded in 1906 and with headquarters in New York, maintains 22 regional offices across the United States, nine overseas posts and 31 international partnerships.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee