Meeting in Geneva
Photo: Reuters

UN conference reaffirms anti-Israel document

Anti-racism forum in Geneva reaffirms 2001 document by consensus, without debate

Delegates at a United Nations conference on racism adopted on Tuesday a declaration that reaffirms anti-Israel statements made in the previous such meeting.


The text adopted on Tuesday, which "reaffirms" a contentious 2001 document that refers six times to Israel and the Middle East, was adopted by consensus and without debate at a public session, well before the end of the week-long meeting.


"This is very good news indeed," Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told a news conference.


UN officials hope the early endorsement of the text, which was negotiated over months in preparatory talks in Geneva, will return the focus of the conference to issues such as links between poverty and discrimination and ways to prevent xenophobic attacks on foreign workers.


UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told journalists that the conference had moved on from the drama that surrounded Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's appearance on Monday, during which some activists accredited to the forum staged noisy protests.


"It was a very bruising episode yesterday, clearly, but we have to get back to the issues," he said before the declaration was adopted in the Palais des Nations assembly hall.


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in Malta on Tuesday: "It is very regretful that the conference was misused by the Iranian president for political purposes.


"Before the speech I had a long bilateral meeting with President Ahmadinejad and urged him to give a balanced and constructive contribution to the conference because he was the only head of state present."


פרסום ראשון: 04.21.09, 20:08
 new comment
This will delete your current comment