Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced the UK's withdrawal from a UN event to commemorate 10th anniversary of the World Conference on Racism due to the anti-Semitic atmosphere in which the conference was held.
Speaking today the Foreign Secretary said:
“The British Government has decided that the UK will not attend the UN meeting later this month to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the World Conference on Racism. That Conference, and the anti-Semitic atmosphere in which it was held, was a particularly unpleasant and divisive chapter in the UN’s history. It is not an event that should be celebrated.
“The British Government remains fully committed to tackling all forms of racism, both domestically and internationally, something recognised by the recent report of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The United Nations is the right place to discuss these important issues, in a serious way that delivers genuine progress. The UK continues our work with the UN to implement many of the commitments from the 2001 World Conference Against Racism.”
In 2001 the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action was agreed at the World Conference Against Racism. The 2001 conference was aimed at furthering the global fight against racism. However, it was marred by anti-Semitic remarks, as was the April 2009 UN Durban Review Conference.