Monday, April 27, 2009

World Jewish Congress: Durban Review Conference a Failed Endeavor; Brings No Redress to Victims of Human Rights Abuses

/PRNewswire / -- The World Jewish Congress expressed deep disappointment that the adoption of the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference in Geneva last week again singles out Israel for blame. With the approval of this document comes the reaffirmation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA) of the Durban Conference of 2001, replete with the classification of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as racism-based, calling the Palestinians victims of racism and discrimination. Israel was the only country singled out in the DDPA which has now once again been codified in the latest UN conference on racism.

"We can only wonder why the officials and members of the UN Human Rights Council and the delegates to this conference continue to uselessly expend so much energy focusing on only one country and one conflict when so many genuine human rights abuses, in all regions of the world, clamor for attention while their victims go unheeded," said Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress. "The world cannot say today that it does not know about the oppression of women, the executions of children, the persecution of journalists, and religious discrimination - these abuses are exposed for all to see. That the international repository for human rights is paralyzed and rendered powerless to do anything about them is as incredible as it is shameful," Lauder said.

"We had hopes that the Durban Review Conference would reverse the indignity of Durban I, and that this conference would be carried out in accordance with the lofty principles that were established when the World Conference Against Racism was originally conceived," said Michael Schneider, Secretary General of the WJC. "The speech by President Ahmedinejad of Iran destroyed any possibility for the DRC to pursue its goals and establish guiding principles for all nations to fight racism. We thank those countries that had the wisdom to foresee what would happen at this conference and who made a principled decision to not attend a failed endeavor that brought no comfort to the victims of human rights abuses around the globe," he added.

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