UN adopts resolution to organize Durban III conference

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution this morning that details the program and speakers for its September 22, 2011 summit of world leaders, known as “Durban III,” to commemorate the controversial 2001 Durban Declaration. Notable elements include:

  • Speakers at the high-level meeting will include UN chief Ban Ki-moon and top rights official Navi Pillay, who recently admitted to being “naive” in having downplayed fears in 2009 that the Durban II conference would be manipulated for political ends by Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Also speaking will be South African President Jacob Zuma.
  • The date has changed. The event was previously set for Sept. 21, a day after the opening of the UNGA General Debate. But the latter was moved a day later, and so Durban III followed.
  • The two round-table sessions, co-chaired by two heads of state, will be webcast. This was inserted by the G-77 bloc of developing states to boost the status of the event.
  • Selected NGOs will be invited. One hopes that GONGOs will this time be excluded. The Gadhafi-created group “North-South 21” — a Libyan-funded propaganda vehicle that masquerades as a NGO but which in fact manages the Moammar Gadhafi Human Rights Prize — was a leading player in politicizing Durban I and Durban II.

Six months after Canada announced its non-participation, the U.S. recently said it would also keep away from the September event.

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