January 11, 2019 — New York
For the 11th consecutive year, Rabbi Andrew Baker, AJC’s director of International Jewish Affairs, will serve as Personal Representative on Combating Anti-Semitism for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
“I value your experience and expertise, which is why I am appointing you as my Personal Representative to Combat Anti-Semitism. I am counting on you to lead our efforts in this field,” said Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak, who assumed the post of OSCE Chairperson-in-Office this month.
The OSCE created the significant, high-level position in 2005. Baker was first appointed to the post in 2009, and has been reappointed each year since then by the rotating chairmanship. The OSCE organization’s 57 members include the governments of all European and Eurasia countries, Canada, and the United States.
“The OSCE has made significant strides in combating anti-Semitism, but the challenge is great and continues to require constant monitoring and action,” said Baker. “I am grateful to Minister Lajcak for reappointing me to this critical position in order to continue to focus OSCE efforts on combating anti-Semitism.”
In announcing Baker’s reappointment, Lajcak also declared that Slovakia will soon organize in Bratislava a high-level conference on combating anti-Semitism.
“OSCE efforts are critical to combat persistent anti-Semitism, a cancer that continues to grow and threaten the fabric and fiber of member states, not just their Jewish communities,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “Rabbi Baker, my long-time and cherished colleague, plays a critical role interacting with the entire OSCE, individual member countries, civil societies, and Jewish communities in the urgent mission confronting what some have called the world’s oldest social pathology.”
For more than 20 years, Baker has worked intensively with governments and Jewish communities across Europe on programs and policies to confront anti-Semitism. He regularly visits European capitals to assess threats to Jewish communities and how to address them. He was intimately involved in a ground-breaking OSCE project to train law enforcement on monitoring and countering hate crimes.
AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization, with headquarters in the U.S., maintains offices and posts in several OSCE member states, including Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, and Poland in Europe.