German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier — “EU threatens boycott of UN racism talks,” International Herald Tribune, March 16, 2009
[The conference] might be abused to produce one-sided statements [about the Middle East]… I am in favor of canceling participation in the conference, unless the documents are changed substantially within the next hours and days.
Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen — Remarks to foreign affairs committee of the Dutch parliament, March 12, 2009
The document is unacceptable. My red lines are: religion is misused to stand above individual rights. There should be no excuse in the text to condone violence against homosexuals, anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing… I am actively involved in the matter. There will be no compromises regarding principles. I am aiming for a joint withdrawal of all EU ministers, unless the document is not changed. If this does not succeed, then I am not afraid to unilaterally withdraw from
U.S. Representative and Chair of House Foreign Affairs Committee Howard Berman — Letter to the Los Angeles Times, “Stepping up on human rights,” March 12, 2009
President Obama sent a salvage operation team that quickly revealed that the opportunity already had been lost. There weren’t any willing partners to refocus the conference on fighting racism, xenophobia and intolerance. And so the president made the hard but right choice: The U.S. should not associate itself with this effort to vilify
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë — “La France doit refuser de participer à la conférence Durban II, déclare le maire de Paris,” AFP, March 11, 2009
Le bureau du Comité préparatoire de cet événement, présidé par la Libye, et dont l’Iran est le vice-président, a rédigé un projet de déclaration finale dans lequel la lutte contre le terrorisme et la critique des religions sont présentées comme autant de formes du racisme… L’Etat d’Israël y est accusé d’être par essence raciste. En revanche, il n’est jamais fait mention du Darfour ou du Zimbabwe… Notre pays compromettrait ses valeurs et sa devise en participant à cette mascarade… [Je souhaitant que] la France, à l’instar d’autres grandes nations démocratiques, refuse de siéger dans cette conférence et de contribuer à sa préparation.
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith — Australian Government Press Conference Transcript, March 11, 2009
If we come to the conclusion that the text being prepared for the Durban review number two conference sets us up for a re-run of an anti-Jewish anti-Semitic harangue, as the first conference was, then Australia will not take part… We won’t propose to go to the conference if all it looks like is being a replica of 2001.
Japan Times – Editorial: “
Meetings like this undermine the U.N. and empower its critics. Acquiescing to this agenda is a mistake. The more countries protest against this meeting, the more hope there is for getting the U.N. back on track… The charitable explanation for the mentality behind the
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini – “Frattini slams EU for not taking stand on UN racism meet,” ANSA citing Il Riformista, March 10, 2009
I am not prepared to remain silent [on Durban II] when it concerns fundamental principles of the EU Charter (on Fundamental Rights), and the total rejection of anti-Semitism is one of those principles.
German member of the European Parliament Alexander Graf Lambsdorff – “Don’t go there,” International Herald Tribune, March 8, 2009
The West cannot accept a text that places religion above individuals, fails to condemn discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and fails to condemn anti-Semitism, while equating Zionism with racism… On all these issues the West has drawn clear red lines that have been crossed. The consequence is clear: European Union member states should join
Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel – “Elie Wiesel:
The anti-Israeli resolutions to be expected at Durban II will harm the UN, not
Mais le point de départ étant celui-là, le socle de propositions servant de base au débat étant cette addition de préjugés, de haines et de silences, le rapport de forces, enfin, étant ce que l’on peut présumer qu’il sera au sein d’un Comité préparatoire dominé, je le répète, par les représentants d’Ahmadinejad et Kadhafi, on voit mal comment, même amendée, la Déclaration qui nous est présentée pourrait servir de Charte à une action antiraciste mondiale et concertée… La solution du boycott semble être la plus raisonnable, la plus digne, en même temps que la plus conforme à la vocation de la France… Dans l’intérêt même de cette lutte, par égard pour la belle et noble cause qu’est la cause antiraciste, en hommage à tous ceux qui, de Fanon à Mandela, en ont défini l’esprit, il faut refuser, très vite, très fermement, et sans appel, la farce de Durban II.
Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen, — Speech at the U.N. Human Rights Council, March 3, 2009
Reaching out to one another does not mean we will not always agree. It is safe to say that we will continue to have our differences. And that is legitimate. What is not legitimate is holding the entire UN human rights system hostage to those differences. Take the Durban Review Conference as an example. The
Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Per Stig Moller — Speech at the U.N. Human Rights Council, March 3, 2009
Next month, the Durban Review Conference against racism takes place here in
Czech Republic Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel Schwarzenberg, speaking for the European Union — Speech at the U.N. Human Rights Council, March 3, 2009
The EU cannot subscribe to the outcome of this conference where the result would limit or undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms. The EU remains committed to the Durban Review Conference and believes that the final text will in the end be much shorter than the current one and reflect our principles as we have clearly outlined from the beginning.
British Minister of State Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, — Speech at the
And we will work with the
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni — “Livni:
During recent months, we expressed the hope that the language of hatred will not repeat itself; we declared that we will not agree to the singling out of
Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller — “Danish foreign minister threatens Western boycott of
If the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) pushes through this draft resolution, they shall not expect European or Western countries to be present at the table… we cannot accept that religion be conflated with racism.
Netherlands Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen —Radio
Report from Radio Netherlands: The Netherlands will not accept it if there are any attempts to call
U.K. Minister for Europe Jim Murphy — Parliamentary debates, May 13, 2008
There should be no repeat of the disgraceful anti-Semitism that blighted events surrounding the 2001 world conference against racism… [We] will play no part in an international conference that exhibits the degree of anti-Semitism that was disgracefully on view on the previous occasion… If it gets to a point that we come to the view that the conference cannot be a success, the option of withdrawal from the conference remains available to us.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy — At the CRIF annual dinner, February 13, 2008
Translated from French: You have spoken about the
Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier — “
(We) had hoped that the preparatory process for the 2009 … conference would remedy the mistakes of the past. Despite our efforts, we have concluded that it will not.
Canadian Secretary of State for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney — “
Our government sees no value in allowing