Challenging the UN's Darker Side

[Boston Globe] Hillel C. Neuer - The UN on Monday will launch a series of international meetings on racism, leading up to a major world conference in 2009. The so-called "Durban Review" process is the follow-up to the 2001 conference in South Africa that turned into a diplomatic fiasco. All indications suggest next week's session, and the events that follow from it, will mimic both the format and script of the original. The ghosts of 2001 are almost certain to be conjured up by the shamans of Durban II. The party chosen to chair the entire process through 2009 indicates its seriousness of purpose: Moammar Qaddafi's Libya. On Thursday, while the Geneva session is underway, the European Parliament in Brussels will host a UN "International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace." The UN's 16-member Palestinian division is part of a sprawling infrastructure of anti-Israel committees and programs launched by the General Assembly in 1975 alongside its resolution declaring that "Zionism is racism." A UN secretary general cannot be judged by country-driven bodies that go astray. But as Secretary General Ban did recently in protesting the hypocrisies of the Human Rights Council, he can choose to speak truth to power now. The writer is executive director of UN Watch in Geneva.

2007-08-27 01:00:00

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