Labour supports so called UN Conference on Racism

I blogged yesterday on the welcome news that New Zealand would not be attending the so called UN Conference on Racism. The last conference was an appalling show of hatred with really two aims – to demonise Israel and make it illegal to criticise religions such as Islam.

Now I expcted the Greens to get upset about this, but surprised that Labour’s Grant Robertson also condemned the decision.

Now let us look at who else has decided to not attend this vile little conference. We have:

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. Germany
  4. Israel
  5. Italy
  6. Netherlands
  7. Poland
  8. Sweden
  9. United States

There may be more. But note that Obama and Kevin Rudd have both decided to stay away, and they are from sister parties to NZ Labour. Grant presumably thinks they are doing the wrong thing also.

So who will be attending? We know the Iranian President is attending. Denying the Holocaust is not racist it seems. But Libya will also be attending – in fact they are chairing the preparatory committee.

Now you would think the Chair of the preparatory committee would come from a country that excels in human rights and treatment of all citizens regardless of race, tribe or ethnicity.

But we know this about Libya:

Within Libya there is open racism and violence towards black Africans such as migrant workers. Physical attacks against them are commonplace and unpunished. Nigerians tell of Libyan parents encouraging their children to throw stones at them.

And worse:

The United Nations, the American Anti-Slavery Group, and the US State Department all agree that Libya is actively involved in trafficking black Africans in a slave trade that still prospers in Libya., Mali, Mauritania and Sudan.

But will there be one word of criticism of Libya at this conference they chair? Of course not.

Robertson claims that it is vital NZ has a voice at the table. No, not when the outcome is pre-determined (they have been negotiated texts for months) and it will bring shame to be associated with it.  By disassociating ourselves from the conference, we send out a far stronger message that we will not be associated with attempts to make it illegal to criticise certain religions.

UPDATE: It is off to a good start:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the West of using the Holocaust as a “pretext” for aggression against Palestinians, prompting walkouts by every European Union country at a UN conference on racism.

Oh yes, we definitely should be there to hear from the Holocaust Denier in Chief – on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day no less.

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