Issue 164: Fiasco in the Making: UN Set to Reopen Durban Anti-Racism Conference

Headlines:

  • Fiasco in the Making: UN Set to Reopen Durban Anti-Racism Conference
  • European Parliament to Host Anti-Israel Hate-Fest
  • UN Tampers with Official Records to Cover Up Human Rights Council Illegalities
  • UN Chief Rebuked by Islamic States
  • ECOSOC Endorses Chinese Retaliation Against NGOs Supporting Taiwan, Luxembourg Breaks With E.U. on Gay Rights
  • Also Watched


  Fiasco in the Making: UN Set to Reopen Durban Anti-Racism Conference
Anti-Western propaganda is expected to dominate an upcoming UN gathering in Geneva that will chart the agenda for a major world conference against racism in 2009.
Although the official mandate of the August 27-31 session is limited to reviewing follow-up from the discredited 2001 anti-racism conference in Durban, South Africa, observers expect the Islamic bloc to introduce new accusations against the U.S., Europe, and other Western nations, under the charge of “religious defamation.” With Colonel Khadaffi’s envoy as conference chair, this is another fiasco in the making. Read more

  European Parliament to Host Anti-Israel Hate-Fest
The UN’s “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” will hold its next anti-Israel gathering on August 30-31 at the European Parliament in Brussels. Labeled as a “Conference of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace,” the only Israelis invited are those like Michel Warschawski, who proudly describes himself as a “well-known anti-Zionist activist.” It’s like holding a conference on U.S.-Islamic rapprochement and inviting John Walker Lindh — the American who joined the Taliban — to represent America’s position. Technically, Walker is as American as Warschawski is Israeli. But only a scoundrel or a fool would treat either exercise as anything but a sham.  Who was behind the European Parliament’s decision to play host to this poorly disguised hate-fest? Read more

  UN Tampers with Official Records to Cover Up Human Rights Council Illegalities
 In a newly released document, UN officials have tampered with the time and date of events from the recent session of the Human Rights Council, to cover up the fact that president Luis Alfonso de Alba ignored the legal June 18 deadline for concluding negotiations on his reform package. Read more

 

  UN Chief Rebuked in Human Rights Council

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was rebuked by Islamic states in a recent meeting of the Human Rights Council, for having criticized its decision to institutionalize the censure of Israel. Read more

 


 ECOSOC Endorses Chinese Retaliation Against NGOs Supporting Taiwan

At its recently completed annual session, the UN’s Economic and Social Council slapped a one-year suspension on Liberal International, a non-governmental organization that allowed a delegate to the Human Rights Council to speak for Taiwan’s right to join the World Health Organization. Read more

 

Why Luxembourg Broke With the E.U. on Gay Rights
On a separate vote regarding the accreditation of a gay rights group from Quebec, some diplomats were, perhaps literally, out to lunch. An embarassing scene developed when the envoys from Indonedia and Luxembourg proved clueless as to what they were voting on. During the roll call vote, the Indonesian representative stalled as he turned around to colleagues to figure out what the vote was about. Although his country was expected to support the draft decision to reject the gay rights NGO, the apparently confused envoy abstained.

Moments later, when the vote came to Luxembourg, the representative, equally at a loss as to the text in question, sought to describe his position—like the rest of the E.U., he supported the NGO—in the hope that the chair might help him out. Amid embarassed laughter from the room, the flummmoxed chair reminded the Luxembourgeois that he could only say “Yes”, “No” or “Abstain.”
This was of no avail, however, and the envoy again repeated his original sentence. The chair indicated that this meant he meant to vote “No.” Soon enough, the Pakistani envoy interrupted the voting to accuse the chair of playing favorites, by giving confused Luxembourg more leeway than conufused Indonesia, and objected that the entire vote was disqualified by the chair’s explanation. A vote was then held on Pakistan’s point of order, with the chair’s actions winning approval. Pakistan reiterated its objection, however, and insisted it would file a legal protest to invalidate the vote. Interestingly, Luxembourg’s attempt to vote “No” was later recorded as an abstention—possibly a political compromise arranged by UN officials to placate Pakistan and avoid an embarassing legal challenge.
For those who have read the UN summary and wondered why Luxembourg was the only European Union country that failed to oppose the rejection of a gay rights NGO—and why Islamic Indonesia failed to confirm that rejection—now they know.

Also watched…

C Peacekeepers for Darfur

The UN Security Council voted to send thousands of peacekeepers to protect civilians in Darfur. Although the blue helmets cannot be expected to forcibly confront Sudan, the new mission is a positive step. With Sudan already attempting to restrict their mandate, however, Darfur activists will need to stay vigilant.

 

D Sudan Elevated at Human Rights Council

Sudan, though only an observer, now represents the influential Arab group of states at the UN Human Rights Council. The next session begins on September 10, 2007, where Sudan, on behalf of the Arab group, is expected to introduce additional resolutions against Israel. Since its founding in June 2006, the council has condemned Israel on 11 separate occasions, but has kept silent regarding the UN’s 191 other countries.

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