The first ever United Nations Anti-Racism conference in Durban South Africa was a complete disaster. Instead of dealing with improving living conditions and preventing racism around the world it became a massive Israel bashing session. The conference accomplished nothing productive.
Durban II is scheduled to take place next month. Canada out of concern that it would be a repeat embarrassment of the first conference declared their intention to boycott. Israel eventually followed suit.
The United States sent a delegation to try to have the objectionable language removed from the conference. They had a few major concerns. Once again Israel was going to be the only country singled out for Human Rights violations, by countries who have enough problems granted human rights to their own citizens. Another issue was to make it a human right violations to criticize another religion. This would justify the riots following the publication of the Muhammad cartoons as response to a human rights violation. It also flies in the face of free speech which is highly regarded in the West. A demand for reparations for slavery were also on the table. The United States announced their intention to boycott if the text was not changed.
Italy became the first European to announce their intention to boycott. It is interesting that it was an Italian reporter that went to Gaza and said that the humanitarian situation was not that drastic. England then expressed reservations about the conference, followed by a possible boycott by the EU.
The text has now been changed. It will probably be enough for most countries to call of the boycott. Although, there is still a great deal of concern that all the elements are in place to still have a repeat of the last conference. Canada has not announced they have changed their mind about attending
Canada was the first country to stand up to this pending injustice. The world has fallen suit. Even if the conference does turn into a disaster the actions of Canada, United States, Italy and EU have minimized the amount of damage that can be done.