(Jerusalem) Jerusalem-based watchdog NGO Monitor today asked the Swiss Mission in Geneva to end the privileged status given to Nord-Sud XXI, a virulent NGO associated with Libya, which has issued statements accusing Israel of "genocide," "apartheid" and "atrocities," and which is linked to the AlGhaddafi Human Rights prize, which has been awarded to convicted French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.

Rather than isolating and denouncing this blatant abuse of civil society to promote hatred, the Swiss mission has invited Nord-Sud XXI to a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 18 to plan for the April conference. Nord Sud XXI is a leader of the campaign calling on the UN to hold an "NGO Forum" in Geneva, in conjunction with the 2009 "Durban Review Conference," in order to replicate the infamous 2001 Forum held at Durban. While the Swiss government claims to seek advice from all 3100 ECOSOC NGOs, Nord-Sud XXI was among a group of 25 NGOs to receive an invitation. No Jewish NGOs were invited to participate.

NGO Monitor’s Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg noted: "The invitation sent to Nord-Sud XXI to participate in this consultation calls into question the Swiss government’s commitment to opposing the abuses of extremist NGOs, particularly those that lead the anti-Semitism associated with the Durban process. There are over 3100 NGOs with ECOSOC accreditation, and we cannot understand why an organization closely associated with Libyan leader Muammar Ghaddafi has special access under the façade of ‘civil society.’ If the Geneva version of Durban is as hate-filled as the 2001 session, the Swiss government will share responsibility unless it rescinds this invitation."

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