(CNSNews.com) – The United Nations General Assembly will vote Monday on whether to hold a controversial anti-racism event in New York next September, when America will mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The conference planned for September 21 is intended to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the U.N. racism conference held in
Given its strong support in an earlier committee vote, where it passed 121-19 with 35 abstentions, the measure is bound to pass on Monday. But those opposed are urging democracies to send a strong message by making the “no” vote as big as possible.
Targeted in particular are the European states that chose to abstain in the committee vote on November 23 rather than join the 19 countries – the U.S., Canada, Israel, Australia, the Marshall Islands and 14 European nations – in voting against the resolution.
Most of the 35 abstainers were Europe countries, along with
Last year, the U.N.’s Human Rights Council (HRC) held a conference in
The 2009 event, dubbed “Durban II,” was boycotted by the
Next September’s conference – inevitably being called “Durban III” – will comprise a high-level plenary in the General Assembly chamber under the theme “Victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance: recognition, justice and development,” as well as thematic panel discussions.
It aims to adopt “a short and concise political declaration aimed at mobilizing political will at the national, regional and international levels for the full and effective implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action [DDPA],” according to the resolution language.
The DDPA is the outcome document of the original
In explaining his decision to vote “no” in the Nov. 23 committee vote,
“It will be an especially sensitive time for the people of
Beyond the venue and date issue, Sammis said that while the U.S. was “deeply concerned about speech that advocates national, racial, or religious hatred,” it also remained “convinced that the best antidote to offensive speech is not bans and punishments but a combination of three key elements: robust legal protections against discrimination and hate crimes, proactive government outreach to racial and religious groups, and the vigorous defense of freedom of expression.”
Ahead of Monday’s General Assembly vote, U.N. Watch, a Geneva-based organization that monitors the HRC and was a leading critic of Durban II, urged European Union states to vote no, saying that every vote against the resolution would help to “strip away the mask of moral authority” from Durban III.
“The truth is that the 2001
“Tyrants and supporters of terrorism like Fidel Castro and PLO leader Yasser Arafat used the event to fan the flames of hatred against
‘Announce boycott now’
The Obama administration, which made engagement with the U.N. a foreign policy priority, held off on its decision to stay away until just weeks before the April 2009 event (although it did refuse to fund the preparatory process or participate in most of the planning meetings.)
Two days after the Nov. 23 U.N. committee vote, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said that
Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, incoming chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is among those urging the administration to make its position clear now.
“We should announce publicly, right now, that we will stay away from Durban III, deny it
Also critical of the Durban III plans is Joseph A. Klein, author of books including Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam and Global Deception: The U.N.’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom.
“Given the disgraceful record of the first two Durban conferences, Ambassador Susan Rice should state unequivocally that the United States will not take part in yet another hatefest, particularly one to be held in New York during the same month as the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks,” he added.
Klein said the
According to U.N. documents next September’s events will require an estimated $231,800 for costs including six-language interpretation services, documentation, conference support, travel costs for participating experts, media coverage, outreach, exhibits and promotional activities.