The Netherlands, Italy and the Czech Republic: no confidence in UN anti-racism meeting

The Netherlands, Italy and the Czech Republic will not be present for the celebrations marking the tenth anniversary of the Durban Declaration in New York on 22 September.

In this Declaration, which emerged from an international conference in the South African city of Durban in 2001, signatories pledged to combat global racism, xenophobia and discrimination.

In the intervening years, a number of countries have repeatedly used discussions on combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination to draw attention to the peace process in the Middle East and denounce Israel’s right to exist.

To prevent this from happening again, the abovementioned three countries sought to include a statement in the final declaration to the effect that all participating states agree to distance themselves from attempts to connect the Durban declaration to issues that have nothing to do with fighting racism.

Because such a guarantee proved impossible to achieve, the three countries now feel they have no option but to pull out of preparations for the celebrations and to stay at home in September.

Needless to say, the Netherlands remains committed to fighting racism, xenophobia and discrimination in more productive ways.