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UNITED NATIONS WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM (UNWCAR) Printer Friendly Page

The UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban, South Africa
By Elihai Braun
September 8, 2001

Durban Conference 2001
By Herb Keinon
September 2, 2001

The Centrality of NGOs in the Durban Strategy
By Gerald M. Steinberg
Summer 2006

Durban II Resource Guide (pdf)
By NGO Monitor
April 1, 2009

Anti-Semitism in the United Nations System
By Discover The Networks
(Adapted from U.S. State Department Report)
2008

Demonization in Durban: The World Conference Against Racism
By Harris Schoenberg

Confronting Evil at Durban II
By Alan M. Dershowitz
April 30, 2009

Durban II: The Revenge
By Jamie Weinstein
April 29, 2009

"Why Did We Come?" -- Political NGOs Marginalized at the Durban Review Conference
By NGO Monitor
April 27, 2009

Iran Demands Respect as NGOs Berate U.N. Racism Conference
By Patrick Goodenough
April 24, 2009

The Outrage Continues
By Anne Bayefsky
April 23, 2009

The Durban II Counter-Conference
By Fern Sidman
April 23, 2009

Durban II: Send In the Clowns
By Jamie Weinstein
April 22, 2009

Disgrace at Durban 2
By HonestReporting.com
April 22, 2009

Troubled U.N. Racism Conference Quickly Adopts Outcome Document
By Patrick Goodenough
April 22, 2009

Dispatches from Durban II: To the UN and the NGOs, Any Criticism of Any Muslim Is "Racism."
By Brett D. Schaefer and Steven Groves
April 21, 2009

UN Tries to Avoid NGO Incitement, but Gives Ahmadinejad a Platform
By NGO Monitor
April 21, 2009

Iran President Makes Himself at Home In UN Hatefest
By Anne Bayefsky
April 21, 2009

Geneva: The Three Ring Spectacle
By Gregory Gethard
April 21, 2009

Ahmadinejad Prompts Durban II Walkout – But Also Gets Applause
By Patrick Goodenough
April 20, 2009

'Anti-racism' U.N. Conference a No-go for Several
By Chad Groening
April 20, 2009

Obama Administration to Boycott U.N. Racism Meeting
By FoxNews.com
April 19, 2009

Durban II Boycott Swells
By Patrick Goodenough
April 17, 2009

‘Occupation’ Is Back in Durban II Text
By Patrick Goodenough
April 16, 2009

Ahmadinejad’s Plan to Attend Durban II Prompts New Boycott Calls
By Patrick Goodenough
April 15, 2009

Human Rights Activists Heading to Geneva to Discuss World’s Most Pressing Issues
By Patrick Goodenough
April 8, 2009

The UN’s Jihad against Free Speech
By Robert Spencer
April 3, 2009

Revised Durban II Text Does Not Meet Conditions for U.S. Participation, Critics Say
By Patrick Goodenough
March 18, 2009

Time for Obama to Stop Stalling about UN's Hateful Anti-hate Conference
By Anne Bayefsky
March 18, 2009

Proud to Be a Leftist?
By Caroline B. Glick
March 10, 2009

Italy Withdraws from ‘Durban II’
By Patrick Goodenough
March 6, 2009

Europeans Criticize Racism Conference, But No Word Yet on Attendance
By Patrick Goodenough
March 4, 2009

The Obama Administration Caught Double-Dealing On Israel
By Anne Bayefsky
March 3, 2009

Saved from Durban II
By Joseph Klein
March 2, 2009

U.S. Backs Away from Durban II, Shifting Focus to Other Democracies
By Patrick Goodenough
March 2, 2009

OIC Welcomes U.S. Shift on Durban II; Denies Anti-Semitic Intent
By Patrick Goodenough
February 24, 2009

America and Durban II
By Joseph Klein
February 19, 2009

Obama's Durban Gambit
By Caroline B. Glick
February 17, 2009

Obama's Policy Shift on Durban Racism Conference Draws Concern, Criticism
By Patrick Goodenough
February 16, 2009

The NGO Front in the Gaza War: The Durban Strategy Continues
By NGO Monitor
February 4, 2009

Islamic Nations Want Divisive Issues on the Agenda at UN Racism Conference
By Patrick Goodenough
June 20, 2008

'Deck Stacked Against' Israel Ahead of UN Racism Conference
By Patrick Goodenough
May 28, 2008

The Planners of Durban II
By Joseph Klein
April 29, 2008

Durban II Double Standard
By Anne Bayefsky
April 28, 2008

Redefining Anti-Semitism
By Anne Bayefsky
April 23, 2008

Groundwork to Be Laid for Controversial 'Durban II' Conference
By Patrick Goodenough
April 21, 2008

Durban 2009 Update: European Responses on NGO Funding
By NGO Monitor
April 16, 2008

US Under Increasing Pressure to Boycott UN Racism Conference
By Patrick Goodenough
April 4, 2008

US Urged To Speak Out Now on Planned UN Racism Meeting
By Patrick Goodenough
March 5, 2008

Stop Durban II
By Joseph Klein
January 2, 2008

Voting against Hate
By Anne Bayefsky
December 27, 2007

Dollars for Durban II
By Claudia Rosett
December 12, 2007

Durban II Meeting to Be Challenged, Canadian and American Legislators Announce
By Canadian Jewish News
September 24, 2007

Will Radical NGOs Hijack the UN's "Durban II" Process?
By NGO Monitor
September 2, 2007

Major NGOs Skip 'Unfair' Monitoring Conference
By Yoav Appel
June 14, 2006

Michigan Attorney General Calls for Investigation of Ford Foundation Spending on Political Campaigns
By NGO Monitor
April 2006

From Durban to Beersheba
By Abraham Cooper and Harold Brackman
September 3, 2004

Funding Hate [Part 1]
By Edwin Black
October 15, 2003

NGOs - The new Israel Fund and the Propaganda War Against Israel
By Gerald M. Steinberg
May 8, 2003

Why Was the Durban UN World Conference Against Racism in 2001 Anti-Israel?
By PalestineFacts.org
2001

 


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Durban, South Africa
URL: Website
United Nations World Conference Against Racism (UNWCAR)'s Visual Map


  • Anti-American, anti-Israel conference held in September 2001 in Durban, South Africa
  • Equated Zionism with racism 
  • NGOs in attendance endorsed a resolution denouncing free market capitalism as a “fundamentally flawed system”


Plans to hold the United Nations’ “World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance” (WCAR) were first formulated in 1997 by the UN General Assembly in Resolution 52/111. Attended by delegates from 160 countries, the Conference was held from August 31 through September 7, 2001. Its agendas were grouped under the following themes:

Theme 1: Sources, cause, forms and contemporary manifestations of racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance

Theme 2: Victims of racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance

Theme 3: Measures of prevention, education and protection aimed at the eradication of racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance at the national, regional and international levels

Theme 4: Provision for effective remedies, recourses, redress, [compensatory] and other measures at the national, regional and international levels

Theme 5: Strategies to achieve full and effective equality, including international cooperation and enhancement of the United Nations and other international mechanisms in combating racism, racial discrimination, [and] xenophobia

The Conference featured, most prominently, an NGO Forum that focused a disproportionate share of its attention and condemnation on the policies and alleged transgressions of Israel and the United States. Members of the Palestinian Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, also known by the acronym LAW (Land And Water), were on the Conference steering committee and played a key role in narrowing the focus of both the NGO Forum and the overall Conference mainly to Israel, America, and Jews.

At the NGO Forum, Jewish delegates were verbally and physically harassed. The Forum featured sales of the 19th Century anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as well as numerous displays of flyers that asked (approvingly), "WHAT IF HITLER HAD WON?" Featured speakers repeatedly compared contemporary Israel to apartheid South Africa. The Forum culminated in the production of a WCAR NGO Forum Declaration, which was finalized on September 3, 2001 and made the following assertions:

  • "[T]he Palestinian people are … currently enduring a colonialist, discriminatory military occupation that violates their fundamental human right of self-determination."

  • "[T]he Palestinian people have the clear right … to resist such occupation by any means provided under international law until they achieve their fundamental human right to self-determination and end the Israeli racist system."

  • "[A] basic ‘root cause’ of Israel’s on going and systematic human rights violations, … acts of genocide and practices of ethnic cleansing is a racist system, which is Israel’s brand of apartheid."

  • Israel has demonstrated "a continued refusal to allow the Palestinian refugees to exercise their right as guaranteed by international law to return to their homes of origin," and thus "has destabilized the entire region and has impacted on world peace and security."

  • "[T]he Israeli systematic perpetration of racist crimes including war crimes, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing" should come to an "immediate end."

  • Israel’s "alien domination and subjugation with the denial of territorial integrity amounts to colonialism, which denies the fundamental rights of self-determination, independence and freedom of Palestinians."

  • "Israel’s brand of apartheid [is] a crime against humanity [that] has been characterized by separation and segregation, dispossession, restricted land access, denationalization, ‘bantustanization’ and inhumane acts."

  • "[T]he Israeli state war on civilians" includes "military attacks, torture, arbitrary arrests and detention, the imposition of severe restrictions on movement, … and systematic collective punishment, including economic strangulation and deliberate impoverishment, denial of the right to food and water, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to housing, the right to education and the right to work."

  • "[T]argeted victims of Israel’s brand of apartheid and ethnic cleansing methods have been in particular children, women and refugees." 

Having made the foregoing charges against Israel, the NGO Forum called for all participating nations to help bring about: (a) "an increased awareness of the root causes of … Israel’s belligerent occupation and systematic human rights violations as a racist, apartheid system, through relevant UN agencies working closely with international civil society networks to widely disseminate information including educational packs for schools and universities, films and publications"; (b) "the launch of an international anti-Israeli Apartheid movement as implemented against South African Apartheid through a global solidarity campaign network … and [an end to] the conspiracy of silence among states, particularly the European Union and the United States"; (c) "a policy of complete and total isolation [by the international community] of Israel as an apartheid state as in the case of South Africa, which means the imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargoes, the full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, social, aid, military cooperation and training) between all states and Israel"; and (d) "condemnation of those states who are supporting, aiding and abetting the Israeli Apartheid state and its perpetration of racist crimes against humanity including ethnic cleansing, acts of genocide."

The secondary agenda of the WCAR was to extract Western cash as compensation for slavery, the slave trade, colonialism, and the vaguely defined "economic and political exclusion" of various peoples. Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi inadvertently revealed a central purpose of the Durban Conference when he offered his opinion on who should pay reparations for slavery: "The whites must pay." American NGOs likewise supported reparations from Western nations for the historic transatlantic slave trade and developed resolutions that condemned only the West for its past slaving activities. 

The NGOs further endorsed a resolution denouncing free market capitalism as a "fundamentally flawed system."

Because of the aforementioned, disproportionate attacks on Israel and the United States, both of those countries pulled their delegations from the WCAR. Australia and Canada each made statements accusing the Conference of "hypocrisy." The Candian statement read, in part, as follows: "Canada is still here today only because we wanted to have our voice decry the attempts at this Conference to de-legitimize the State of Israel and to dishonor the history and suffering of the Jewish people. We believe, and we have said in the clearest possible terms, that it was inappropriate -- wrong -- to address the Palestinian-Israel conflict in this forum. We have said, and will continue to say, that anything -- any process, any declaration, any language -- presented in any forum that does not serve to advance a negotiated peace that will bring security, dignity and respect to the people of the region is -- and will be -- unacceptable to Canada."

In April 2009, a second WCAR (commonly referred to as "Durban II) was held in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

 

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