Thursday, January 24, 2008

The UK should withdraw from Durban II

Canada has become the first country to withdraw from Durban II, from the Canadian Press:

"The so-called Durban II conference "has gone completely off the rails" and Canada wants no part of it, said Jason Kenney, secretary of state for multiculturalism and Canadian identity.

"Canada is interested in combating racism, not promoting it," Kenney told The Canadian Press.

"We'll attend any conference that is opposed to racism and intolerance, not those that actually promote racism and intolerance.

"Our considered judgment, having participated in the preparatory meetings, was that we were set for a replay of Durban I. And Canada has no intention of lending its good name and resources to such a systematic promotion of hatred and bigotry."

There were a series of problems with Durban I that look likely to be repeated with Durban II.

Attacks on free speech

Durban I was marked by repeated attacks on the United States for its defence of the free speech guarantee in the US Constitution. The new conference is likely to, in a very similar way, be used as a platform to attack free speech.

UN Watch exposed, in an editorial for the Boston Globe, how the conference is to be used to attack the West for "religious defamation". This is an attempt to use the imprimatur of the UN to push for the banning of future Danish Cartoons, Satanic Verses and other free expression that we are right to defend. A speaker for Egypt described the Danish Cartoons as a "new and dangerous incitement against religion."

Anti-semitic abuse

At the last conference there was not just an obsessive focus on Israel - rather odd in itself for a conference supposedly focussed on racism. There were deeply unpleasant displays of extremist anti-semitic literature. This poster is one, particularly awful, example:

The Canadian government notes, in the Canadian Press, that:

"Furthermore, all of the non-governmental organizations invited to the first conference have been invited back to the second, including those that were at the "forefront of the hatred," some of which posted pro-Hitler posters at the 2001 gathering."

At best (worst?) this disgusting material will be displayed more subtly. More likely, things will be exactly the same.

Some of the world's worst regimes given prominent positions

Again, from UN Watch:

"Libya was elected as chair, and Iran and Cuba among the 19 vice-chairs."

With that kind of leadership...


At the earlier conference Canadian government policy had been that - through their presence at Durban - they could try to fight the numerous abuses. They have clearly realised that this will not work:

"Concluded Kenney: "If we felt there was any realistic chance that Canada could help to positively influence the process, we would stay involved. . . . By making this bold decision, Canada may send a wake-up call to the Durban organizers and other countries."

Britain should follow Canada's fine example.


Steve Janke said...

"At the earlier conference Canadian government policy had been that - through their presence at Durban - they could try to fight the numerous abuses. They have clearly realised that this will not work"

Just to be explain to you readers, these are two different governments. In 2001, Jean Chretien of the Liberal Party was in charge. Canada attended the conference. Since then we've had another Liberal government (Paul Martin) which was defeated in the 2006 election. Now Stephen Harper of the Conservatives is prime minister. The Conservatives have come under attack repeatedly for siding with Israel on a number of issues. Many Liberals are upset over the decision to skip this conference, figuring it is another example of Israel favouritism.

Ruthie said...

"There would be no Israel"?

Yeah, because all the Jews would be dead!

I fail to see how that's a better alternative. Maybe I'm missing something.

AZ said...

i believe my country australia is not attending either.

Matthew Sinclair said...

Ruthie - I think that says something about the intended audience for that particular poster.

James Higham said...

Of course we should but what chance with this lot in power?

Anonymous said...

Allow me to play devils advocate for 1 minute.

An original Final Solution was the creation of a Jewish homeland in Madagascar. The proposal was thought to have been abandoned when the failure to defeat Britain meant the sea passage was unsecured.

Thus if Hitler had won then it is quite possible that Madagascar would have been the destination for European Jewry.

Now, of course, in this alternate reality, there would be no UN: the Axis strangely seemed to have jointly dropped membership of its predecessor, suggesting that the new victors might not have been the first to propose an alternate UN. However for the sake of comparison, let's imagine they did create a new UN. I wonder whether these people would be demanding resolutions about the "illegal occupation" of Madagascar?

Sun Flower said...

Virtually all the easy ways to make money online include the use of social network sites. They are in the rage these days, as millions of people are logging in to Facebook or Twitter every day.

biluthyrning haninge
Easy Ways To Make Money

VLCS said...

The species is usually found in eucalyptus woodlands, or along water courses. In the more northerly parts of the country, these cockatoos are commonly seen in large flockspsicologia clinica moncloa madrid stop hair loss