Thursday, April 24, 2008

Durban disgrace

The UN Human Rights Council is currently conducting a conference to prepare for a second conference, dubbed Durban II, on racism and xenophobia. The first was held in Durban, South Africa, just before September 11,2001; it was such an anti-Israel hate fest that the United States and Israel walked out. Since then, the situation regarding human rights at the UN has deteriorated even further. The recently-formed Human Rights Council, dominated by the Organization of the Islamic Conference and its allies, has spent most of its time condemning Israel. With countries like Libya at the helm, this is hardly surprising.

The website Eye on the UN provides copious material on the ongoing preparatory conference. Canada has already announced that it will boycott Durban II; the United States has not participated in the preparatory conference and has refused to fund either the Human Rights Council (to which it does not belong) or the Durban II preparatory conference. It has not, however, yet said that it will boycott Durban II. Click here for a speech at the preparatory committee by Anne Bayefsky of the Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, describing the shortcomings of the Durban II process. Click here for a sample of the difficulties she encountered.

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