NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC praised Poland for withdrawing from the tenth anniversary commemoration of the UN World Conference on Racism. The event, known as Durban 3, will take place at the UN in New York on September 22.
"As current president of the European Union, Poland's decision to opt out of this lamentable gathering is particularly significant," said AJC Executive Director David Harris, reacting to a Polish Foreign Ministry statement announcing Poland's decision.
Poland becomes the 14th country -- and ninth EU member state -- to skip Durban 3. The others so far are Australia, Austria, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States.
Poland also was one of the ten countries that laudably refused to participate in the Durban Review Conference in Geneva in 2009, at which the notorious Iranian president and Holocaust denier, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was a speaker -- on the Day of Holocaust Remembrance, no less. Ahmadinejad is again slated to address this Thursday's Durban gathering.
"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.
"Our earnest hope is that, in the coming days, other democratic nations will reach a similar conclusion as Poland did and shun the upcoming Durban conclave," said Harris. "This is no place for countries truly committed to the anti-racism effort."
SOURCE American Jewish Committee