UK Foreign Secretary William Hague 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
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
Foreign Secretary William Hague said the original Durban conference
10 years ago had been an ugly affair.
Austria pulls out of 'anti-Israel' Durban III
Australian PM: We won't attend Durban III
“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
Critics of the conference have noted that its organizers
have generally overlooked human-rights abuses in Arab countries.
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
“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
“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
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.