The document calls Durban 2001 conference "visceral anti-Semitic and anti-Israel charade"; lauds Canadian government’s "bold action calling the world’s attention to the corrupted Durban Review Conference process"; "calls upon Jewish communities and organizations across the world to submit documentation to the Durban Review process" as part of ongoing effort to uphold universal standards of human rights.

(Additional related material: NGO Durban II Update: Statement Challenges NGOs to Reject Hatred, January 14, 2008.)

Full Text of document (online source — I-CARE news):


World Jewish Conference Resolution on 2009 Durban Review Conference

WHEREAS 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the World Jewish Congress and the Jewish people actively supported and have consistently applied;

WHEREAS the World Jewish Congress and Canadian Jewish Congress have a long and distinguished record in promoting human rights both domestically and internationally;

WHEREAS Canada has historically strived to eliminate racism and discrimination both within its borders and as a member of the international community;

WHEREAS Canada believes strongly in the multilateral approach to resolving international issues and acknowledges in particular the important potential of the United Nations;

WHEREAS the NGO (non-governmental organizations) Forum during the 2001 World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa, degenerated into a visceral anti-Semitic and anti-Israel charade which derailed any effort to plan action to counter serious human rights issues including those based on race, gender and poverty;

WHEREAS the NGO Forum incubated the boycott strategy against Israel and Jewish organizations that has played out in subsequent years;

WHEREAS levels of anti-Semitism rose sharply around the world, including in Canada, post-WCAR and post-9/11;

WHEREAS the 2006 replacement of the United Nations Human Rights Commission with a new Human Rights Council was largely motivated by the Commission’s one-sided and nearly exclusive focus on condemning Israel, accentuated by the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel manifestations at Durban;

WHEREAS the new Council has devoted five out its first six Special Sessions to condemnations of Israel rather than addressing gross violations worldwide;

WHEREAS the World Jewish Congress remains committed to fighting racism and to maximizing the potential for the 2009 Review Conference to report on governments’ implementation of the positive points in the 2001 Programme of Action;

WHEREAS the Government of Canada assessed carefully the preparatory arrangements to date for the 2009 Durban Review Conference and determined that the Conference is currently dominated by the same array of forces which steered the 2001 WCAR against Israel and Jews rather than toward fighting racism;

WHEREAS Canada has taken the courageous and unprecedented step of withdrawing from the Conference, demonstrating international leadership based on moral clarity;

Therefore, the World Jewish Congress Governing Board:

EXPRESSES appreciation to the Government of Canada for its bold action in calling the world’s attention to the corrupted Durban Review Conference process and for its consistently principled stand.

CALLS upon like-minded countries to assess the value and prospects for success leading to the 2009 Durban Review Conference, and to insist on an agenda and format that promote the global fight against racism rather than fostering further hatred.

CALLS upon Jewish communities and organizations across the world to submit documentation to the Durban Review process, reporting on government implementation of anti-racism commitments and the substantial contributions being made by Jewish NGOs.

RECOMMITS itself to the values embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to seeking constructive opportunities for advancing these principles through the United Nations and other international organizations.

CHARGES the WJC Young Professionals Diplomatic Corps to contribute research, strategy, and outreach to support these goals.

URGES all countries to vigorously combat all forms of racism, discrimination and hate both within their boundaries and internationally.