The Press editorial:
The hijacking by the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, of a United Nations conference supposedly assembled to discuss racism should surprise no-one.
That something of the kind would occur was perfectly predictable beforehand. The last UN-sponsored conference on this subject was a fiasco, being used primarily as a platform for grandstanders to rant against the West in general and Israel in particular. All the preliminary talk that had gone on before the present one was fair warning that it would be a similar kind of occasion. As events have shown, New Zealand was wise to stay away from it. If it had not, it would certainly have had to join the more than 30 other nations attending that walked out when Ahmadinejad uttered his inflammatory remarks.
Indeed. But Labour continues to demand that we should have attended. Grant Robertson has done a third release complaining NZ did not attend.
Labour and the Greens have accused the Government of pulling out of the conference in order to appease its allies. This is stale and feeble nonsense.
The fact is that, like the other governments that chose not to attend, New Zealand made its own judgment, accurate as it turned out, that no good would come of the event. The New Zealand chief human rights commissioner, Ros Noonan, claims not to be able to find anything anti-semitic in the conference. If that is the case, she must have a severely blinkered view of the matter. Intense negotiations by the US, for instance, before the conference started, focused heavily on concerns about anti-semitism.
I just don’t understand why Labour are so keen for NZ to be forced to attend a conference where you have the Chief Holocaust Denier promate hatred and racism.Tags: Labour, The Press, UN