Tag Archives: Durban conference

Pope Backs UN Racism Summit

Although numerous nations such as the United States, Sweden, the Netherlands and Israel have indicated they will not attend the upcoming UN conference in South Africa, Pope Benedict XVI welcomed the meeting as an important step in combating racism. He expressed hope delegates will work together “with a spirit of dialogue and reciprocal acceptance to put an end to every form of racism, discrimination and intolerance.” One can only wonder if the Pope is well served by his staff because his comments ignore concerns raised by major nations which fear the exact opposite of what the Pope hopes to happen will occur. The conference will be a sounding board for anti-semitism, blaming Israel for the world’s ills and ignoring blatant racism, anti-feminism, and intolerance toward others. Iran oppresses women and discriminates against members of the Bahai faith, but that behavior will never be addressed by this conference anymore than the 5,000,000 dead in the Congo or the 200,000 in Darfur.

In the end, this conference has but one aim– attribute all problems in the world that might relate to racism to one nation– Israel. In the process, ignore those who have been killing, persecuting and destroying the basis of democracy in their nations.

Sweden Boycotts Racism Conference

Sweden has decided not to send any official representatives to the UN conference on racism that will be hold in South Africa. A major problem for many countries was the initial paper which presented issues to be discussed and since only Israel was cited as a violator of human rights it did raise questions as to the composition of those deciding what could be discussed. However, Swedish Integration Minister Nyamko Subini said her country wanted to “send clear signals about what is acceptable, in this case, we are not going to legitimise the non-democratic powers in place at the ministerial level.” She was concerned that opponents of human rights such as President Ahmadinejad of Iran will be a dominant figure at the conference.

Although, one can sympathize with her views, in the marketplace of ideas the best approach is to confront those like the Iranian president who is a hypocrite on human rights by citing in public the continued violations of rights in his country. Similar views could be expressed about religious fanatics in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan who abuse the rights of non-Muslims.

US Ponders Durban Conference Attendance

The upcoming UN anti-racism conference to be held in Durban has raised questions in the minds of the United States and other nations concerning attending. Initially, only the US and Canada made clear they would not attend a conference that was blatantly stacked against Israel and believed the only example on planet Earth of racism was in that nation. Of course, examples of racism in Darfur which have resulted in the death of over 200,000 or Uganda or Saudi Arabia or Iran or India or Pakistan do not display examples of racism. Women are killed on the ground of “honor killings” but that is not racism, just killing women who do the wrong thing. The slaughter of five million in the Congo is not racism, since the dead are black skinned people killed by black skinned people.

The United States apparently has decided to wait a few more days to see if there is evidence the organizers of the conference are serious about racism or are they simply holding a world wide protest against Israel? Of course, some attendees wonder how a conference dealing with human rights can endorse a statement that to attack religion is an example of racism.

Or, should the United States attend the conference and rise to the defense of programs that are serious about ending racism? Of course, we could begin in Iran with its persecution of the Bahai!

No Agreement For New Conference On Racism

Diplomats are unable to reach an agreement on holding a follow up conference to the 2001 session on racism which erupted in charges and accusations that unfair focus was upoon Israel rather than addressing widespread racism issues in the world. There is concern among diplomats for the need to pursue focusng on racism, but realization a follow up to the famous Durban conference must begin with a fresh perspective that is not bogged down by the issue of Israel. The European Union took part in the Geneva preparatory session, but is still uncertain of whether to support a new conference.

The 2001 conference was marred when the United States and Israel challenged attempts by some nations to brand Israel as a racist society while ignoring the reality of widesprad racism in the world. It is time to address issues of racism in just about every nation in the world and stop pretending Israel alone is guilty of such practices. Name a nation in the world from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan to India to Gemany to France to Russia to China to Indonesia to Bolivia and so on which does not contain evidence of widespread racist behaviors?