(CNSNews.com) – A provocative plan to hold a United Nations anti-racism conference in New York City days after the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is moving ahead, after more than 100 U.N. member-states gave their approval in a post-midnight General Assembly vote late last week.
Earlier appeals for democracies to send a powerful message by voting against the measure – rather than abstaining as they had in a committee vote a month earlier – achieved limited success.
Only two European countries,
The resolution passed in the General Assembly by 104-22, with 33 abstentions.
The other countries voting against the resolution were the United States, Canada, Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands and 13 European nations, including Britain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
By contrast, 28 countries across Europe abstained, including
Next September’s event, known as “Durban III,” will mark the 10th anniversary of the U.N. World Conference Against Racism, an event held in
The meetings were characterized by virulent attacks against
“Durban II,” a 2009 assembly in
Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who will chair the House Foreign Affairs Committee next year, has called on the
A similar appeal came from a bipartisan group of 18 U.S. senators, who in a letter organized by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said the administration should take a stand now by “removing itself from association with Durban III and encouraging other nations to do the same.”
“It is important that the
“We can send this signal by making clear now that the
The Obama administration, which prioritized closer engagement with the U.N., announced its decision not to attend Durban II several weeks before the April 2009 event, citing attempts once again to single out
This time the administration additionally has objected to the timing and the venue for Durban III – next September 21, at U.N. headquarters in N.Y.C.
“It will be an especially sensitive time for the people of New York and a repeat of the vitriol sadly experienced at past Durban-related events risks undermining the relationship we have worked hard to strengthen over the past few years between the United States and the U.N.,” U.S. envoy John Sammis said during an earlier committee meeting considering the plans.
After Friday’s vote, Rice said the
Joining Gillibrand in signing the letter to Rice were Sens. James Risch (R-Idaho), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii), Mike Johanns (R-Nebr.), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).