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Jewish World Review
Dec. 18, 2007
/ 9 Teves 5768
Not on our dime
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
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
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
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.
(You might be confused by all this if you thought one of the "reforms"
the United States wrested a few years back from the would-be "world
government" on Turtle Bay was a panel on human rights that actually
respected and strengthened them. If so, see John Bolton's excellent albeit dispiriting - account in his just-released memoirs, Surrender is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad. Amb. Bolton lays bare how the State Department, Europeans and others hostile to U.S. interests begat a new council essentially indistinguishable from
its appallingly bad predecessor.)
In the UN's inimitable fashion, there are now no fewer than five organs
charged with advancing the Durban agenda. In addition to Qaddafi's
preparatory commission, these are: the Intergovernmental Working Group
on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of
Action; the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent; Five
Independent Eminent Experts (I am not making this up) to Follow-up the
Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action; and the
Ad Hoc Committee of the Human Rights Council on the Elaboration of
Even the European Union has begun to balk at this absurd exercise,
joining the United States and Israel in a recent vote on a resolution on
Durban II promoted by the so-called African Group. As is generally the
case in the UN, though, the U.S. and its friends were simply outvoted by
those more-or-less-explicitly hostile to freedom.
Two things are clear: First, as is also generally true of all things
related to the United Nations, the costs associated with the countless
meetings, meals, perks and logistical requirements of these five,
self-important entities and eminent experts are exorbitant. The UN
Secretary General's office came up with an initial (and probably
conservative) estimate of $7.2 million.
Insult will be added to injury however if oil-rich Durban II promoters
like Iran, Libya and Russia and their allies are able to make you pay
for the platform with which they intend to revile and hector America and
Israel. All other things being equal, they stand to do so if they can
get the tab picked up by the UN's regular budget of which this country
underwrites nearly a quarter.
Second, Durban II's architects have in mind making us pay even more
dearly in another coin. As Rebecca Tobin put it in a December 8th
posting on EyeOnTheUN.org: They seek to "create 'new normative standards
aimed at combating all forms of contemporary racism, including
incitement to racial and religious hatred' in other words to turn the
alleged defamation of Islam into a global witch-hunt in the name of
Will the Bush Administration and Congress allow a new Durban goat-rope
to occur at our expense - literally on our dime and to the detriment of
our moral standing, security and other interests? Now is the time to say
"No" No to conclaves that empower and embolden Islamofascists and
other racists, and No to any underwriting of them by American taxpayers.
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JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.
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© 2006, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.