Notes from Le Palais
Together with Roger Simon and PJTV cameraman Andrew Bridgewater, I spent an hour or two Wednesday chasing around the UN's Palais des Nations in Geneva -- before they went off to film the city, and I circled back for another look at what brought us here: The UN's Durban Review Conference on "racism." As Roger observes, the conference itself had the feel on Wednesday of something that had just rolled over and died. After Ahmadinejad's flame-throwing act on Monday, the conference organizers tried to smother any further chance of headlines by getting the final statement of this shindig approved three days ahead of schedule. That takes a lot of the edge off the remaining debate.
The real shockers now lie wrapped in UN-speak and buried deep inside the prematurely approved final document -- which runs to 16 pages, containing 143 separate articles. This text now awaits the mind-numbing chore of deciphering exactly what kind of grotesque opportunities the conference organizers -- such as Libya, Cuba, Russia and Iran -- have kept open for themselves by way of items such as article 51 of the "outcome document," which:
"Stresses the need for a comprehensive and universal approach to preventing, combating and eradicating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in all its forms and manifestations in the world."
That's just a small sample of the linguistic gunge extruded from almost two years of UN planning that went into this conference. What does it mean? Who in this grand universal plan will decide what constitutes "racism" ? Do the opinions of Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il weigh equally in the UN scale with the views of democratic electorates in America and New Zealand?
Anne Bayefsky, of www.EyeontheUN.org ,who is already well-versed in the Durban-conference branch of UN dialect, has done us the service of parsing some of this Durban II product. She explains in the New York Daily News that there's a nasty dose here of the usual UN anti-Semitism.
I also see that there's the usual dose of UN demands for money -- which, true to form, turn up mostly near the end of the Durban II final statement. To abet the UN projects that may now be launched out of this declaration, the Durban conferees want yet more money for the morally corrupt Human Rights Commission -- this to come from the UN regular budget (article 138), plus voluntary funds from member states (article 139), plus member state contributions to a special trust fund (article 141)... you get the idea. If you're an American taxpayer, you can also expect that one way or another-- whether they tell you or not -- you'll end up stuck with the bill.