13 August 2021 17:21
Following a few other states, France has now announced that it will not participate in the United Nations Anti-Racism Convention. The event is known for the fact that anti-Semitic statements are made there.
President Emmanuel Macron’s office announced on Friday that he and his administration would not attend next month’s UN conference on racism. The reason for this is the concern about the “history of anti-Semitic statements” that came about in the event. The statement reads:
“The President of the Republic is concerned about anti-Semitic statements at the United Nations Racism Conference in Durban and has decided that France will not participate in the follow-up conference this year.”
France is the last country to boycott an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in 2001. Earlier, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States had also announced that they would boycott the United Nations program in South Africa.
Britain’s argument is similar to that of France. It is said that it was decided not to attend the event due to “concerns about anti-Zionism”. Canada and the US specifically claimed that the Durban Review Conference was expressing “anti-Israeli sentiment”, which Canadian and US officials could not support by participating. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison accused the United Nations of using “unilateral and controversial language that marginalizes Israel” and said Canberra “will not participate” in such a conference.
This is not the first time that many countries have boycotted the event. In 2009 Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Poland all declined to participate in the conference. Two years later, the number of absent countries increased to 14.
The first WCAR resulted in the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Action Program, in which states work to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance at national, regional and international levels.
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