The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, has confirmed that his nation will stay away from the United Nations conference on racism—the so-called Durban II conference—saying that he was not convinced the forum would not be a “platform for anti-Semitic sentiment.”
The conference is scheduled to convene Monday, April 20, in Geneva.
Sweden will not send any ministerial officials to the conference, according to Swedish Integration Minister Nyamko Subini, who said:
“This has been a difficult and problematic negotiation that has certainly become more constructive and positive in the last week, but we have decided that Sweden will not be participating at the ministerial level.”
The Dutch Foreign Minister, Maxime Verhagen, said he was boycotting the anti-racism conference because some nations were using it as a platform to attack the West. The minister said in a statement Sunday that some countries were planning to use the summit to put religion above human rights and rein in freedom of speech.
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are to be commended for declaring early on that Canada would not be party to such a shameless travesty.
So far, the United States, Italy and Israel have also declined to attend what is shaping up to be a cruel farce. Incredibly, the UN committee managing the conference is chaired by Libya, with vice-chairmen from Iran, Pakistan, Cuba, Russia, Indonesia and Turkey: a rogues’ gallery of human rights abusers.
The 2001 version of this conference, held at Durban, South Africa, was a poorly disguised excuse to provide a forum for anti-Israel sloganeering. That meeting saw the Israeli and American missions storm out after statements comparing Zionism to racism were made.