Officially called the Durban Review Conference, Durban II wrapped up its week-long attack on the nation of Israel. In its last day the attendees were taken the the woodshed by UN Watch head Hillel Neuer and Eye on the UN’s Anne Bayefsky.
Neurer attacked the conference for ignoring the real problems of Racism in the world:
…Today, after the conference outcome text has been adopted, we ask: Did the conference live up to its promise? Did it help millions of victims worldwide?
To answer that question, we need to listen to the victims. We did exactly that on Sunday, across the street from here, when more than 500 human rights victims, scholars and activists assembled at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy.
UN Watch was proud to be among the 40 human rights groups from around the world that organized this momentous event.
We heard from victims, who know about racial and ethnic discrimination.
From Ester Mujawayo of Rwanda, whose mother, father and husband were murdered in the 1994 genocide against Tutsis, and yet who lives on — not only to remember the dead, but to treat the survivors.
From Kristyiana Valcheva, one of the five Bulgarian nurses, and from Ashraf El –Hajoj, the Palestinian doctor — all of whom were framed, convicted and tortured in Libya, discriminated for being foreigners.
We also heard from victims of discrimination on grounds cited in Section 2 of the DDPA, based on sex, religion, political or other opinion.
We heard victim testimony from Soe Aung, a dissident from Burma.
From Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President of Stop Child Executions, about children on death row in Iran
From Ahmad Batebi from Iran, the student demonstrator who was tortured for 9 years in Iran, with his picture on the front cover of the Economist holding his friend’s bloodied t-shirt.
From Saad Eddin Ibrahim, the former political prisoner from Egypt.
From José Castillo, the former political prisoner from Cuba.
From Marlon Zakeyo, who fights political repression in Zimbabwe
From Pavel Marozau, human rights defender from Belarus
Now, here in my hands I hold the outcome of this conference.
To the distinguished delegates in this hall, I ask:
Why are does it ignore all of the situations represented by these victims?
In a conference that promised to review country performance on racism, why did the conference in fact fail to review a single country that perpetrates racism, discrimination and intolerance?
Why did the conference fail to review a single abuser?
Why is it silent on women facing systematic discrimination in Saudi Arabia?
Why is it silent on gays persecuted and even executed in Iran? On ethnic repression in Tibet?
Why is this conference, which promised to help Africans, silent on black Africans now being raped slaughtered by racist Sudan?
I ask: If this a Review Conference, can someone tell me who has been reviewed? Has this conference really helped millions of victims worldwide? If so, who are they?
Thank you, Mr. President.
After Neuer Bashed the conference for what it did not cover, Anne Bayefsky really smacked them around not for what they ignored, but for what they covered, pointing out the hypocrisy of allowing Iran’s Ahmadinejad, the countries that stayed and even those who walked out on the Iranian president. See Videos Below
In a fiery denunciation of a kind rarely heard at high-level U.N. meetings, Anne Bayefsky of the Hudson Institute lashed the conference for giving Ahmadinejad “a global megaphone,” accused the world body of enabling anti-semitism and criticized “all those states without the courage to reject a forum for bigotry when it masquerades as human rights – however transparent the veil.”
Iranian representative Seyed Hossein Rezvani protests criticism of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the U.N. racism conference in Geneva on Thursday, April 23, 2009. Iranian envoy Seyed Hossein Rezvani twice interrupted, demanding that the conference chairman, Amos Wako of Kenya, pull Bayefsky into line. Rezvani was incensed at the “mentioning names of countries,” and said the dignity and status of heads of state must be respected.
As she continued, Bayefsky replaced the phrase “the Iranian president” in her prepared notes with the words “the president of the country that’s not allowed to be mentioned” and resumed her attack.
She was interrupted twice more – once by the delegate for South Africa who complained that she was referring to “Durban II” instead of the event’s official name, the Durban Review Conference, and a third time by Rezvani who, after admonishing Wako for referring to “the republic of Iran” instead of “the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said that the Hudson Institute representative’s time was up.
Bayefsky was given a few more seconds, and concluded by declaring that the conference “will be remembered for poisoning the wellspring of universal values, it will be remembered for representing the triumph of hate over hope – and the dustbin of history is its only desert.” SourceCNS NEWS
Below are videos of Bayefsky’s speech. Part One takes her statement up to the first Iranian Interruption (32 Seconds), The Second is the final 8 minutes Plus: