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Dateline Durban:
UN World Conference Against Racism

Dateline Durban:
Durban Update: Parties Deadlocked on Mideast
Deadlocked on Mideast
Robinson Calls NGO Language Inappropriate

September 7, 2001, Durban —

Deadlocked on Mideast

South Africa is chairing a working group of European Union members and Arab nations seeking to craft compromise language on the Middle East. Draft text, which included language calling for a "Right of Return" for Palestinian refugees but fell short of condemning Israel, was rejected by the Arab states on Thursday. Palestinian U.N. representative Nasser Al-Kidwa continues to maintain that "there is not solution," and that the Palestinian delegation "will not compromise."

As of this writing, the concluding session of the conference commenced with over 60 paragraphs of the Conference Declaration still unresolved. Currently, the two major contested issues, the Middle East and reparations for slavery, are being dealt with in closed working groups. South African President Thabo Mbeki is under pressure to leave Durban to attend the funeral of his father tomorrow, yet there is no end in sight to discussions over language to address the Middle East.

Robinson Calls NGO Language Inappropriate

Nearly a week after the participating nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) ratified a separate document with highly incendiary language and anti-Israel statements, U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson met today with NGOs clarify her stance on the document. Calling the language accusing Israel of acts such as genocide "inappropriate and unacceptable," Robinson said she "could not recommend the document to the government delegates in its entirety," but that she "has not rejected it" either. She noted that the document includes some very good proposals on areas such as hate crimes, indigenous peoples and caste issues, but regrets several "inappropriate and unhelpful" paragraphs. The usual procedure would be for the Conference head to officially "recommend" the NGO resolution to the government conference.

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Reports from Durban Conference
Durban Update: Final Declaration Recognizes Palestinian Right of Return; Omits Language Critical of Israel (09/8/01)
Durban Update: Parties Deadlocked on Mideast (09/07/01)
Conference Continues Without U.S. and Israel (09/05/01)
Anti-Jewish, Anti-Israel Language Prompts U.S., Israel to Leave U.N. Conference (09/04/01)
Opening Day of the UN World Conference On Racism (08/31/01)
Anti-Israel Hecklers Interrupt Press Conference (08/30/01)
Anti-Israel Rhetoric Prevalent at the U.N. World Conference Against Racism (08/29/01)
Background on
Durban Conference
About the UN World Conference Against Racism
ADL Call to Conscience for All Nations
Background on Anti-Zionism at the United Nations
What is Zionism?
World Figures Refute the Zionism=Racism Charge
The Draft Declaration: Unfair Charges of Racism Against Israel
ADL Statements on Durban
ADL Letters to Media about the U.N. World Conference
Durban Derailed into a Conference of Hate
Abraham H. Foxman on the Durban Conference
Press Releases:

ADL Commends U.S. Rejection of Anti-Jewish, Anti-Israel Bias of U.N. Conference Against Racism (8/27/01)

ADL Urges Congress To Reject Incendiary Language Against Jews, Israel At Upcoming U.N. Conference Against Racism (7/31/01)

ADL Urges Foreign Ministers to Reject Anti-Jewish Rhetoric at U.N. Conference on Racism (7/17/01)

ADL Urges U.N. Members to Reject Anti-Israel Focus at Forum Against Racism (5/18/01)

ADL to President George W.Bush

ADL to Foreign Ministers of U.N. Members

Related ADL Articles:
Israel and the UN

Related Web Sites:
UN World Conference Against Racism

The United Nations
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