The new UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres promised to fight anti-Israel bias and antisemitism within the intergovernmental organisation during a speech at the Assembly of the World Jewish Congress in New York on Sunday.
The event marked Holocaust Remembrance Day and was attended by leaders from 90 countries.
Mr Gutteres addressed the 600 in attendance by declaring that the Jewish state must be treated like any other member state, and that he would be “on the front line in the fight against antisemitism”.
He also condemned the resurgence of antisemitism in America and Europe, as seen from online hate speech and desecration of Jewish cemeteries, deeming it “absolutely unacceptable” and that it should be “if possible, eradicated from the face of the earth”.
The UN Chief stated: “As Secretary-General of the United Nations I consider that the State of Israel needs to be treated as any other state”.
He continued: “Israel has an undeniable right to exist and to live in peace and security with its neighbours…the modern form of antisemitism is the denial of the existence of the State of Israel”.
Three weeks ago, Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian national and former UN official in charge of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, was asked to withdraw a report in which she accused Israel of being an “apartheid state”, subsequently leading to her resignation.
The UN Secretary-General concluded: “I was always convinced the solution is the two state solution, and I’ll do everything I can to support it. But I will never allow the legitimate positions that might exist critical of Israel or the Palestinians to undermine the right of Israel to exist and the right of Israel to find peace and security”.
In March, Israel announced a $2 million cut in contributions to the UN budget following constant bias against the Jewish State by the UN Human Rights Council.