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AIJAC welcomes principled Australian decision to not attend Durban Review Conference

Apr 20, 2009

Media Release

 

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has welcomed the Australian Government decision on Sunday that Australian delegates will not attend the UN Durban Review Conference in Geneva this week.

AIJAC National Chairman Mark Leibler AC said that, “The Federal Government has made the only principled and correct decision in view of the strong signs that this Durban review conference was likely to repeat much of the ugliness which turned the original 2001 Durban conference into a farce. They are to be applauded for being unwilling to attend and give credibility to a conference likely to demonize Israel yet again and give vent to antisemitic views.”

AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein AM added, “It is deeply and genuinely disappointing that conference organizers were unable to focus on the indisputably urgent agenda of countering the scourge of racism, authentic human rights abuses and discrimination. However, as happened in 2001, other deplorable political agendas have again been allowed to dominate proceedings. The Rudd Government, like the US, New Zealand, Canada, Italy, Israel and other liberal democracies, has perceived this travesty. Australia has correctly concluded that the Review Conference’s Final Declaration, in reaffirming the 2001 Durban declaration which appallingly singled out Israel for condemnation as the world’s sole state guilty of racism, is unacceptable. Nor was there any reasonable prospect of improving matters, given the conference composition, and the domination of the conference planning process by Libya, Cuba, Iran and other non-democratic states,” Dr. Rubenstein concluded.

For further information contact: Dr. Colin Rubenstein on  (03)-9681-6660.

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