UN rights chief: Durban II racism conference may yet fail

Lobbying from advocacy groups could undermine next month's world racism conference, the UN's top human rights official said Thursday. Jewish and Muslim groups have taken offense at draft statements being prepared for the meeting, pushing governments to demand changes before the April 20-24 conference in Geneva. A fresh draft circulated last month drew cautious welcome from most sides, though key countries including the United States have yet to say whether they will attend the meeting. "I have a healthy fear for the way states sometimes operate," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told reporters in Geneva. "I am quite wary of the fact that someone or other may attempt to revisit the issues that were dropped in this last document."