Few spectacles more clearly demonstrated what is wrong with the United Nations than the UN World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa in September 2001. Thanks to the domination of that conclave by a substantial majority led by the most despotic – and racist – regimes on the planet, “Durban” became synonymous with unbridled vilification of the United States and Israel. Even the most pro-UN Secretary of State in memory, Colin Powell, was so infuriated by the proceeding that he felt constrained to walk out.
Ironically, the insights Durban provided into the extraordinary mutation of the United Nations – from an instrument the United States was indispensable to creating after World War II in the hope of preventing future conflicts into what amounts to the diplomatic equivalent of mob-rule in the hands of America’s enemies – were obscured by what happened within days of the conference’s conclusion: the September 11 attacks. Ironic because, as the most indefatigable journalistic observer of the UN, Claudia Rosett, has observed, those “hijackings [were] driven by the same kind of hate stoked at the Durban conference.”
It may well be that, because of our preoccupation with al Qaeda’s acting out the Durban agenda, we failed to respond properly as a nation to this 2001 orgy of anti-Western hate-mongering and racism. There is no excuse, however, for what is about to happen: American taxpayers are poised to be charged for the preparation of a follow-on conference that promises, if anything, to be even worse than what is now known as Durban I.
As Ms. Rosett and the Hudson Institute’s indispensable Anne Bayefsky have warned, the UN is now launching “Durban II,” a conference to be held in 2009 for the purpose of reviewing “implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action.” Given that these products of the first conference were so defective, one might think a review conference could be justified, provided it had any prospect of rectifying their myriad shortcomings.
Unfortunately, in the farce the United Nations has become, the job of preparing to review the Durban I conference is being entrusted to none other than Muammar Qaddafi’s despotic and Islamofascism-supporting regime. Worse yet, the Libyans are being helped in their work by other preposterous members of the UN’s Human Rights Council, including Pakistan, Cuba and Russia, and by non-Council member Iran.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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