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ADL Letter to UN Ambassadors
Expresses Deep Disappointment with United Nations Third Committee Resolution on Racism

  November 18, 2002

Dear Ambassador:

We are writing to raise serious concerns about the resolution under consideration by the United Nation's Third Committee regarding racism, and follow-up to the World Conference Against Racism, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

We urge your opposition to the resolution, which, as drafted, omits any mention of anti-Semitism. This marks a significant step backward from the United Nations' landmark recognition of anti-Semitism as a form of racism which is a bellwether of freedom and religious tolerance for all minority groups. Now more than ever, it is vital that the General Assembly affirm the timeliness and urgency of combating anti-Semitism and resist efforts to eliminate this reference.

Nations of Europe spoke clearly and unequivocally, during the Durban preparatory process, about the unique role this scourge has played across many regions for many centuries. The Strasbourg Declaration to the World Conference in October, 2000 -- and its over two-dozen specific references to anti-Semitism -affirmed that Europe is "convinced that combating anti-Semitism is integral and intrinsic to opposing all forms of racism. . . "

We are also concerned by the draft's broadened implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action. The Durban final document and the process surrounding its development remain deeply tainted by the one-sided targeting of the Jewish state. Efforts to impose the Durban documents as a road map for a global effort against racism are tainted by this bias as well as the blatant anti-Jewish targeting which infused the conference proceedings.

At a time when anti-Semitism is reemerging, omitting any mention of it while codifying a deeply flawed process which was tainted by anti-Semitism itself would send a dangerous signal about the United Nations' commitment to the fight against what remains a pernicious form of religious intolerance and an assault on the fundamentals of human dignity and human rights.

Sincerely,

  Sincerely,

Abraham H. Foxman
National Director



UN Third Committee Draft Resolution Letter Recipient Countries

1. Argentina
2. Australia
3. Austria
4. Belgium
5. Brazil
6. Bulgaria
7. Canada
8. China
9. Colombia
10. Croatia
11. Czech Republic
12. Denmark
13. Dominican Republic
14. Estonia
15. Finland
16. France
17. Germany
18. Greece
19. Hungary
20. India
21. Ireland
22. Italy
23. Jamaica
24. Japan
25. Latvia
26. Liechtenstein
27. Lithuania
28. Malta
29. Mauritius
30. Mexico
31. Netherlands
32. Norway
33. Panama
34. Peru
35. Poland
36. Russian Federation
37. Romania
38. Saint Lucia
39. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
40. Spain
41. South Africa
42. Sweden
43. Switzerland
44. Tajikistan
45. Turkey
46. Turkmenistan
47. Ukraine
48. United Kingdom
49. Uruguay
50. Uzbekistan
51. Venezuela
52. Viet Nam
 
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