Ban pleased US taking part in preparatory talks ahead of UN anti-racism summit

17 February 2009

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the United States’ decision to participate in preparatory talks for an upcoming review meeting of the landmark 2001 United Nations anti-racism conference which the US, along with Israel, had withdrawn from citing concerns the forum was being used by some to push an anti-Israel agenda.

The Durban Review Conference, scheduled for 20-24 April in Geneva, will assess progress in implementing the measures adopted at 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in South Africa eight years ago.

A working group made up of UN Member States has begun negotiations in Geneva on a draft outcome document, use a 38-page text as the basis for their negotiations.

“The Secretary-General welcomes the United States’ decision to send a delegation to engage in the preliminary negotiations to finalize the draft outcome document of the Durban Review Conference,” his spokesperson said in a statement.

Mr. Ban “urges all Member States to engage constructively on all the outstanding issues of the outcome document to ensure a successful outcome of the Conference,” the statement added.

Israel indicated last November that it does not plan to take part in the April review conference.


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