British Government confirms withdrawal from Durban III

UK Foreign Secretary says “conference, and anti-Semitic atmosphere in which it was held, was particularly unpleasant, divisive chapter in UN history."

By JONNY PAUL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
September 15, 2011 19:55
2 minute read.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

LONDON – The British government confirmed on Thursday that the UK will not take part in the UN-sponsored Durban III anti-racism conference on September 22.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the original Durban conference 10 years ago had been an ugly affair.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Austria pulls out of 'anti-Israel' Durban III conference
Australian PM: We won't attend Durban III conference


“The conference, and the anti-Semitic atmosphere in which it was held, was a particularly unpleasant and divisive chapter in the UN’s history. It is not an event that should be celebrated,” he said.

“The British government remains fully committed to tackling all forms of racism, both domestically and internationally, something recognized by the recent report of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,” Hague said.

“The UN is the right place to discuss these important issues, in a serious way that delivers genuine progress. The UK continues our work with the UN to implement many of the commitments from the 2001 World Conference Against Racism.”

Ten of the UN’s 193 member nations have now joined Israel in pulling out of Durban III: the UK, Germany, the US, Canada, Italy, Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.



Critics of the conference have noted that its organizers have generally overlooked human-rights abuses in Arab countries.

“It is indeed a wise decision on the part of the British government to pull out of the conference. Durban is an ‘anti-racism’ conference in the way that Soviet-funded ‘peace studies’ departments were committed to Cold War coexistence,” said Michael Weiss, spokesman for the influential London think tank The Henry Jackson Society.

“It will be interesting, for instance, to see what this year’s conference has to say about Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ethnic cleansing of [the Syrian city of] Latakia,” Weiss said.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister David Cameron said that he did not want the UK to take part in an event with anti-Semitic associations.

“No one should be in any doubt: This government is 100 percent committed to tackling racism both at home and abroad,” he said. “But those aims cannot be met by accepting this invitation.”

Cameron added that the 2001 World Conference against Racism (Durban I) saw “open displays” of “deplorable anti-Semitism,” and said it would be “wrong” to engage in such events.

“It would be wrong to commemorate those displays. Indeed, they should be condemned. That is why the UK will play no part in this conference,” Cameron said.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN