Dutch to boycott Durban II
Australia, Canada, the United States, Sweden, Italy, and the Netherlands are all out...let's hope more join them in the boycott...
The Dutch foreign minister announced Sunday he is boycotting a U.N. anti-racism conference because some nations are using it as a platform to attack the West.
The Obama administration has also said it would not attend the meeting scheduled to start Monday in Geneva.
There are fears in the West that the meeting will be marred by heated debate over Israel that cast a shadow over the last such anti-racism conference eight years ago in the South African city of Durban, especially as Iran's hardline president -- who has called for Israel's destruction -- is to attend.
Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said in a strongly worded statement that a proposed closing declaration for the April 20-25 meeting was "unacceptable."
In recent weeks, Dutch diplomats had worked feverishly behind the scenes to try to salvage a final statement that would be acceptable to all nations, proposing a number of alternative texts.
But Verhagen described negotiations over the declaration as "grim" and said Western nations were subjected to political attacks.
"The anti-racism conference is too important to abuse for political goals and attacks on the West," he said. "The Netherlands will not be a part of it."