Tuesday, January 27, 2009


UN Durban II planning committee meeting this week have been receiving good exposure by Eye On The UN.

Here are memorable moments from Day 3 of what the UN considers to be progress in the effort to combat racism:

The European Union agreed to hold a Durban II only if it was limited to assessing the original Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. This EU "red-line" has now been thoroughly trashed. Syria said: "If we repeat the DDPA then there is no point to holding a review conference." The EU is still sitting in their seats, content to eat crow one more time.

Western countries were constantly put on the defensive:
Proposed provision: "one of the principle reasons fomenting the tide of racism is the growing increase in the right wing extremist political discourse, including in some of the most liberal pluralistic societies."

Pakistan: "Wherever people are doing something wrong - whether freedom of expression, counterterrorism policies or abuse of national security policies, the legal action which has not been taken against them amounts to immunity."

Freedom of expression came under attack numerous times:

Iran: "People...say that existing law doesn't allow us to prevent abuse of freedom of expression...Immunity... is there."

Cuba: "Include negative abuse of freedom of expression...Insert "...violence by the media and national security forces."

Syria: "We are not talking about freedom of expression. What we mean is...the abuse of the right to freedom of expression and not the freedom of expression itself. So we distinguish between the two notions. Difference between the right to freedom and freedom of expression itself. We mean abuse of the right."

Pakistan: " We are not talking about freedom of expression, but impunity that has been exercised on the use of these freedoms which creates discriminatory behavior in those societies."

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