ADL Letter to UN Ambassadors Expresses Deep Disappointment with United Nations Third Committee Resolution on Racism
November 18, 2002
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.
Abraham H. Foxman
UN Third Committee Draft Resolution Letter Recipient Countries
11. Czech Republic
13. Dominican Republic
36. Russian Federation
38. Saint Lucia
39. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
41. South Africa
48. United Kingdom
52. Viet Nam