We were thrilled to hear that this April the Obama Administration will be sending a delegation to represent the United States at a preparatory meeting for the United Nations Durban Review Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The Durban II Conference will review the commitments established by each country in the original U.N. World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, in 2001. In 2001, the United States led a walkout of the Durban Conference because of the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel message that dominated the conference. Others already fear a repeat in Durban II because anti-Israeli states like Iran have played such a large role in the Conference's preparations. The outcome document of the original Conference includes recently added language impugning the state of Israel. A friend of GlobalSolutions.org, Congressman Howard L. Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, echoed our sentiments when he stated,
"The decision to engage in, rather than to withdraw from, the debate in Geneva is constructive, it is critical that the United States regain its moral voice at the U.N. by jumping into the fray and stipulating clear redlines for re-focusing Durban II, including the removal of language in the Outcome Document attacking Israel or singling it out for criticism. We should continue challenging the status quo at the U.N. by re-engaging in and restructuring its human rights mechanisms in order to break the choke-hold that non-democratic states currently have on them."