NEW YORK, Sept. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC praised Bulgaria for withdrawing from Durban 3, the tenth anniversary commemoration of the UN World Conference on Racism, which will take place at the UN in New York on September 22.
"Bulgaria admirably has joined with other democratic nations boycotting this lamentable gathering," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "We are delighted that Bulgaria fulfilled a pledge to not participate if the event indeed diverted from its original mission."
In April, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nickolay E. Mladenov, addressing AJC's Global Forum in Washington declared, "We will stand up to those who aim to subvert the Durban process; Bulgaria will continue to be part of the preparation for the forthcoming Durban III conference, but will reconsider its participation in the process if it fails to meet its original lofty goals and continues to unfoundedly single out the state of Israel."
Bulgaria becomes the tenth country -- and sixth EU member state -- to opt out of Durban 3. The others so far are Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, and the United States.
"Those nations that have decided not to participate understand clearly that this UN initiative, originally conceived to contribute to the noble struggle against racism, had been hijacked at its inception ten years ago by those seeking to turn it into yet another forum for bashing Israel, Zionism and Jews," said Harris.
"The original gathering, in 2001, became best known for the toxic atmosphere of raw anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment expressed by some governments and NGOs," said Harris. "Is this a cause for commemoration ten years later?"
SOURCE American Jewish Committee