Joined: 24 Feb 2003
|Posted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:20 am Post subject: France, New Zealand pull out of Durban III over racism
|France, New Zealand pull out of Durban III over racism
By Benjamin Weinthal
The Jerusalem Post
September 17, 2011
BERLIN – In a one-two punch to the UN-sponsored Durban III anti-racism commemoration event, the governments of France and New Zealand announced that they will boycott the event because the September, 22 conference is plagued by anti-Semitism and racism.
Speaking from Paris, a French diplomat, told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday that the Durban III conference “became more and more racist” and “just like the Brits,” the French [foreign] minister will not be attending Durban III. He added that the aim of the anti-racism conference has “moved away from its original purpose.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron said last week that the World Conference on Racism saw “open displays” of “deplorable anti-Semitism,” and said it would be “wrong” to engage in such events.
“That’s why the UK will play no part in this conference,” Cameron added.
Th French Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an e-mail statement to the Post saying, “France will not participate in the meeting planned in New York on the 22nd of September commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Durban Conference Against Racism. We remember that the previous meeting led to an unacceptable diversion of the principles and values of the fight against racism. For this reason, as other partners of the European Union, France will not attend the commemoration.”
The statement continued that “France reaffirms its attachment to the universality of human rights and its determination to fight against racism. France remains strongly determine to pursue the collective efforts undertaken within the UN and other international bodies to fight efficiently against all forms of racism, antisemitism, xenophobia and racial discrimination.”
In a statement issued to Post on Friday, New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said: "We remain concerned that the commemoration of the 2001 Durban Declaration could re-open the offensive and anti-Semitic debates which undermined the original World Conference. For these reasons, we have decided not to participate.”
He added that "New Zealand is fully committed to combating racism and we agree the UN should lead discussions on the elimination of racism. That is why we engaged constructively in the preparatory discussions in New York. However, in the end, the text is not one that we could support.” . . . [More]
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