More countries to boycott Durban conference as New Zealand and Cyprus quit

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More countries to boycott Durban conference as New Zealand and Cyprus quit

The total number of countries staying away from a UN conference on racism over antisemitism concerns has risen to 16

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

Kofi Annan Secretary-General of the United Nations Organisation addresses the delegations during the opening session of the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in the coastal city of Durban August 31,2001.[Some 6,000 delegates gathered for the ceremony which is already deeply mired in rows ranging from charges of Israeli racism to issues of reparations for slavery.
Kofi Annan addresses the original Durban conference as UN Secretary-General in 2001

Two more countries will stay away from a United Nations conference on racism later this month because of concerns over antisemitism.

New Zealand and Cyprus joined 14 other countries in announcing they will stay away from the meeting that will take places on the fringes of the UN General Assembly on 22 September.

The event is due to mark the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.

But a growing number of countries are boycotting it over concerns it will promote antisemitism.

Israel was the only country identified as racist during the original 2001 conference.

Britain, the United States and France are among the countries that have already announced they are boycotting this year’s event.

The Jerusalem Post reported New Zealand joined them this week, quoting the country’s foreign ministry as saying: ““New Zealand remains strongly committed to combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

“Consistent with our long-standing position, New Zealand will not attend the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration conference in New York on 22 September 2021.”

Croatia, Cyprus and Italy also announced this week they would not take part.

Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Israel and the Netherlands are the other countries not attending.

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