US Won’t Participate in Durban III
Following Canada and Israel, the U.S.has now announced that it will not participate in the racist UN-sponsored World Conference Against Racism – also known as Durban III.
The conference is scheduled to be held in New York City on September 21, mandated by a UN General Assembly Resolution in 2009 to mark the 10th anniversary of the original UN Durban Conference.
UN Watch, a non-governmental watchdog Geneva-based organization, congratulated the United States for its decision to stay away from Durban III. UN Watch noted that the government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was the first to announce it would not participate, followed by Israel.
UN Watch, whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter, was established 18 years ago under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Morris B. Abram, the former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. It participates actively at the UN as an accredited NGO in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information.
The U.S. State Department sent a letter last week to U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), explaining its decision. Gillibrand led a coalition of 18 senators last December, calling on the Obama Administration to follow Canada's lead and pull out.
The State Department’s Active Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Joseph E. Macmanus wrote her, “The United States will not participate in the Durban Commemoration. In December, we voted against the resolution establishing this event because the Durban process included ugly displays of intolerance and anti-Semitism, and we did not want to see that commemorated.”
Israel was "Unfairly Singled Out"
“The United States is fully committed,” the letter continued, “to upholding the human rights of all people and to combating racial discrimination, xenophobia, intolerance, and bigotry. In 2009, after working to try to achieve a positive, constructive outcome in the Durban Review Conference, we withdrew from participating because the conference reaffirmed the original 2001 Durban Declaration, which unfairly singled out Israel and included language inconsistent with U.S.traditions of robust free speech.”