Sunday, April 19, 2009

Australia to boycott UN racist "anti-racism" conference

From The Australian, 19/4/09:

AUSTRALIA will not take part in a controversial United Nations anti-racism conference in Geneva this week.

The Federal Government's decision to boycott the Durban Review conference was prompted by the outcome of the original event in 2001, which was marred by claims of anti-Semitism.

Delegates from the United States and Israel walked out of the meeting in Durban because much of the discussion focused on Israel being a racist state.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith said the Geneva meeting reaffirms the 2001 outcomes, singling out Israel and the Middle East.

"Regrettably, we cannot be confident that the review conference will not again be used as a platform to air offensive views, including anti-Semitic views," Mr Smith said.

"Of additional concern are the suggestions of some delegations in the Durban process to limit the universal right to free speech."

Canada, Israel, Italy and the United States have also indicated that they will not participate.

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