Navi Pillay: “But I did condemn
his use of a UN forum for political grandstanding”How can anyone interested in the advancement of human/civil rights, as a well as countering racism in the world, take the UN, and those who run it seriously? If one is to judge the UN’s effectiveness in these areas by the list of countries chosen to manage it’s organizations….then all is lost.The Durban II conference ended yesterday on Friday, but in a face saving measure, it’s final declaration was “unanimously” approved three full days before the conclusion of the conference. Those countries that signed the conference’s final declaration, including Finland, by default, acknowledged their approval of the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic draft from Durban I, that alleges Palestinian suffering due to Israeli racism, and only mentions Israel in the document out of the UN’s 192 member states.But that wasn’t the only outrage to assume a cloak of respectability at the UN conference in Geneva. In addition to the final declartion being rammed through in a fifteen minute session in which there wasn’t a single word, let alone a discussion of the declaration’s merits, the UN it its wisdom, decided to appoint Iran as a vice chair to the UNHRC. I’m sure that will send a solid message of assurance to all those suffering from racism and persecution inside Iran and eslewhere, that their plight is being taken seriously by the world’s largest political body.What a total farce. The Tundra Tabloids suggests that you read Anne Bayfesky’s report from this past Wednesday, and UN Watch, they’re an eyeopener for those not familiar with the nonsense that goes for “business as usual” at the UN. KGS
J’lem Post: The UN’s top human rights official hailed the global body’s second racism conference as a success Friday, despite what she called a disinformation campaign that almost derailed the meeting.
Navi Pillay, who spoke as the five-day conference wound down, said countries managed to go beyond issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to discuss broader problems of discrimination and intolerance in many parts of the world.
The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights said some campaign groups had tried before the meeting to brand it a forum for hate and urged governments to stay away. She did not identify the groups.
“We have had some rough moments in the process, but a hate-fest? I’m sorry, but this is hyperbole,” Pillay said. She said there was a “highly organized and widespread campaign of disinformation.”
Pro-Israel groups warned before the conference that it could see a repeat of the anti-Semitic outbursts that marred the first global racism meeting in Durban, South Africa, eight years ago.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech on the opening day backed the critics’ argument that the global body is unable to tackle the problem of racism in an acceptable manner. The Iranian leader accused the West of using the Holocaust as a “pretext” to harm the Palestinians, and branded Israel a “repressive racist regime,” prompting protests from Jewish groups and a walkout by 23 European countries.Raphael Haddad, president of the French Union of Jewish Students, said the presence of Ahmadinejad at an anti-racism conference called into question the whole purpose of the event.”For anybody involved in fighting against racism, this conference was just a big circus,” he said. The group made its point by dressing in multicolored wigs and throwing red clown noses at the Iranian leader during his speech.