Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Iranian delegation objects

On April 23 Hillel Neuer, the Executive Director of UN Watch made a statement to the Durban Review Conference, expressing his and his organization's "disappointment" that the Conference, on the whole, ignored the plight and, as far as it could, the presence of victims of human rights abuses.

He then added:
Now, here in my hands I hold the outcome of this conference. To the distinguished delegates in this hall, I ask:Why does it ignore all of the situations represented by these victims?

In a conference that promised to review country performance on racism, why did the conference in fact fail to review a single country that perpetrates racism, discrimination and intolerance?

Why did the conference fail to review a single abuser?

Why is it silent on women facing systematic discrimination in Saudi Arabia? Why is it silent on gays persecuted and even executed in Iran? On ethnic repression in Tibet?

Why is this conference -- which promised to help Africans -- silent on black Africans now being raped and slaughtered by racist Sudan?
One cannot help admiring Mr Neuer for his continuing attempts to get organizations like the Durban Review Conference to do what it is supposed to do and what it receives vast amounts of money for.

The statement was interrupted twice by the Iranian delegation, who objected to Mr neuer naming specific countries. Fair enough. After all, he did not scream abuse at Israel, the only country, apart from,maybe the United States, that can be named.

Watch the video or read the full speech. (Or both, of course)

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