Prague pulls out of UN’s Durban III “Anti-Racism” Conference

UN Watch Calls on other EU states to follow

GENEVA — UN Watch commended the Czech government for being the first EU state to declare that it will stay away from the UN’s Sept. 22 commemoration of the 2001 Durban conference, a supposed anti-racism gathering that became a venue for mass displays of hatred.

The Geneva-based rights group called on EU states and other democracies to follow suit, noting that Italy and the Netherlands joined the Czechs in presenting a firm position at a June 24 UN meeting, objecting to the 2001 declaration’s politicized references to the Middle East.

A first draft for the Sept. 22 declaration has been circulated and will be presented next week at a UN meeting.

In a statement issued today, UN Watch recalled that the Durban process has been marked by ugly displays of intolerance and anti-Semitism, and that is not something that should be commemorated.

UN Watch is further concerned by the timing and venue, given that New York will have just held solemn ten-year memorials for those murdered in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

UN Watch is fully committed to combating discrimination, intolerance, and bigotry, and to promoting human rights for all. For that reason we call on all democracies to join us in opposing the attempts by bigoted despots to use the Durban process to hijack this noble cause.

Canada was the first to announce it would not participate in the UN’s “Durban III” summit of world leaders, followed by Israel and the United States.

In 2009, additional countries to pull out of the Durban II meeting included Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Australia and New Zealand. France and the UK did not walk out, but asserted firm red lines that helped deter pernicious language from entering the text as well as hateful side events from being organized under UN auspices.

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