US and UK governments refuse to appear at United Nations reparations conference
The United States and the United Kingdom have skipped a United Nations conference on race and reparations.
On September 22, in New York, the UN held a commentary conference on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Platform for Action. The Durban Declaration is a framework for combating racial intolerance and was originally conceived at the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, in South Africa.
Two major world powers were absent from the conference, the United States and the United Kingdom. Representatives from other countries were present at the one-day event.
The conference examined how several countries that “once got incredibly rich through colonialism and slavery, including the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.” CNN reported.
Ambassadors from once-exploited regions of Africa, South America and Asia addressed structural inequalities and racism at the conference, on the theme âReparations, Racial Justice and Equality for People of African Descentâ .
âRacism and racial discrimination still permeate the institutions, social structures and daily life of every society. Structural racism and systematic injustice still deprive people of their basic human rights, âsaid UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
Journalist Richard Sudan tweeted: âThe United Nations organized a special conference against racismâ¦ It focused on reparations and racial justice for people of African descent. The UK and US did not show up.
âWow, that’s pretty telling. I figured they would be the main ones who needed to be there, âtweeted Lennox Leone @ LeonDeOro1976.
Brotha Hat @ FFbootcamp4u tweeted: âAll other countries were there except two! Let it sink and marinate. America continues to tell the world what it thinks of black people, but we continue to expect something different. “
The United States claimed to have ignored the event due to its controversial origins.
The inaugural Durban event in 2001 ended with a tense debate on whether to include Israeli-Palestinian issues under the guise of discrimination. The United States and Israel got out to protest against a draft conference final declaration which denounces “racial discrimination against Palestinians” and others by Israel and equates Zionism with racism.
After the American and Israeli walkout, the wording was changed to recognize the “plight” of the Palestinians, and the document was eventually adopted, PA reported. Despite these changes, the United States still decided to boycott the last Durban conference.
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“The first Durban conference in 2001 was aimed at combating racism, but in reality it did the exact opposite, encouraging hatred and anti-Semitism,” Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and Nations said. United, Gilad Erdan, in a statement to CNN.
he applauded the US decision not to participate.
“This proves that there is a growing recognition that the Durban Conference was plagued by bigotry and that the Durban Declaration does nothing to promote the fight against racism … I hope this will be the last UN event commemorating this shameful conference. “