Jason Kenney 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A government official welcomed on Saturday night Canada’s decision to boycott
“Durban III,” a United Nations conference on racism which is expected to be held
next September in New York.
“Canada is a staunch friend of Israel and has
stood up for what is right in international forums where Israel is routinely
bashed,” the government official said.
Canadian Minister of Citizenship,
Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney on Thursday said Canada has lost
faith in the Durban process. “Canada is clearly committed to the fight against
racism, but the Durban process commemorates an agenda that actually promotes
racism rather than combats it.” He added that the event had negatively targeted
Next year’s event commemorates the 10th anniversary of the
initial Durban conference that saw the United States and Israel walk out to
protest the ‘anti-Semitic atmosphere,’ and during which Israel was branded a
racist and apartheid state.
The initial conference, which ended days
before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, produced the Durban Declaration and Programme
of Action. The 62-page document from that conference, solely singled out
Canada led a boycott of Durban II in Geneva last year, where
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad railed against the Jewish state.
addition to Canada, eight other countries boycotted the conference: Australia,
Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, and the
This week, a UN committee adopted a resolution calling for the
commemorative meeting on September 21 to “reaffirm that the [original Durban
declaration] provides the most comprehensive UN framework for combating
“We voted against this because we believe that the proposed
meeting will only perpetuate the kind of... divisive rhetoric that led Canada to
boycott this process in the past,” said Kenney.AP contributed to this