Netherlands Boycotts Durban II
Joining Canada, Israel, Italy, the United States, Australia, and Sweden: Netherlands refuses to attend UN racism conference.
THE HAGUE - The Netherlands joined the United States and Australia Sunday in refusing to attend a UN conference on racism, saying it feared the event would be abused and place religion ahead of human rights.
The Netherlands found a draft final text prepared ahead of the conference “unacceptable”, said foreign minister Maxime Verhagen, as it undermined the goals of the meeting due to open in Geneva on Monday.
“The conference is too important for it to be abused for political ends and attacks on the West,” the minister said in a statement.
“The Netherlands will not be a party to that.”
Verhagen said countries with questionable human rights records were seeking to abuse the gathering “to place religion ahead of human rights and unneccesarily curtain freedom of speech, to negate discrimination against homosexuality, and to place Israel alone in the accused bench”, said Verhagen.