David Fernández Puyana
Ambassador and Permanent Observer of UPEACE

From Spain to the world: Fighting against antisemitism

Credits: WJC/Shahar Azra
Credits: WJC/Shahar Azra

As Europe sees a terrifying rise in antisemitism, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) gathered in Madrid on 20 & 21 March to discuss ways to combat global antisemitism and support Jewish communities across the globe. Special thanks went to the Sefarad Center and the Spanish government for hosting this important global event.

The WJC’s program brought together the Executive Committee, Future Leadership programs, and SECCA forum (Special Envoys and Coordinators Combating antisemitism) to discuss critical issues and to track the progress made in terms of national strategies to fight antisemitism.  It was emphasized the outsized role that digitalization has played in the increase of the antisemitism in online & on campus of universities. They were also focusing on empowering women and young people in leadership roles within Jewish communities.

His Majesty King Felipe VI Spain received at the Royal Palace of El Pardo, special envoys , coordinators and UN Focal Point on monitoring & combating antisemitism as well as members of the Executive Committee of the WJC. Dr. David Fernandez Puyana, Ambassador and Permanent Observer of UPEACE to the UN in Geneva and UNESCO had the privilege to become part of the delegation and greet His Majesty.

During the audience, it was discussed ways to combat the rise in global antisemitism. His Majesty highlighted the richness of Sephardic life and heritage in Spain and showed his determination to address antisemitism. Fighting antisemitism and supporting Jewish communities is a joint effort.

About the Author
Dr. David Fernández Puyana was born in Spain and is a practitioner and international lawyer specialized in international human rights law, international relations, peace studies, United Nations and civil society movements. He earned a Phd with European Mention and he has also a Degree on Law & Philosophy, as well as, some Masters on Human Rights (Essex, Alcala de Henares and Barcelona Universities). He served as adviser at the UNESCO Liaison Office and the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the UN in Geneva. As a legal assistant of the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the UN Intergovernmental Working Group on the right to peace, he was one of the architects of the Declaration on the Right to Peace adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2016. He advises Paz sin Fronteras and is Professor of Public International Law at Abat Oliba University CEU. Since June 2018, he serves as Ambassador and Permanent Observer of the University for Peace established by the UN General Assembly to the UN and UNESCO. He is also nominated Gender Champion.