The United Nations General Assembly president expressed regret that several clauses condemning Israel did not make it into a concluding statement of the recent conference on racism in Geneva, known as the Durban Review Conference or Durban II.
Father Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, a socialist parliamentarian from Nicaragua whose tenure as UNGA chief is coming to an end in September, said in a Friday summary speech that it was a shame that a passage regarding the rights of Palestinians to statehood had been removed from the final text of the current conference.
D'escoto Brockmann, who has been accused in the past of making anti-Western and specifically anti-Israeli statements, expressed satisfaction that a concluding text had been coordinated.
But he added that it was unfortunate that the text no longer focused on the Palestinian "victims" whose plight had been the central issue of the first Durban conference.
The UNGA chief did not refer to the speech of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, which implicitly denied the Holocaust, claiming that "the dubious and ambiguous question" of the murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime was being used as an excuse to promote "a cruel and racist regime in Palestine."
Notably, it was such disproportionate focus on Israel during 2001 in Durban that drew the criticism of Israel and other states at that conference. Several nations, including the United States, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands, boycotted the conference in Geneva out of fear that the same phenomenon would occur in 2009.