Lennart Eriksson

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Durban II: Final document already adopted

Already yesterday, on the second day of five, was the very controversial and scaled down final document (pdf) from the Durban II Conference adopted by the Conference. I am not going to analyze the content, but only note that the wording referring to the Durban I-failure, that made the U.S. and Israel not to attend Durban II, remains. The document contains, indeed, on the other hand many good wordings also.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt says, that ”it is a significant success that we now on late afternoon had the conference in Geneva to accept” the final document. Apparently, this haste was, as Ambassador Dahlgren said, due to ”a concern that countries would weaken the text”. (SvD in swedish.)

Bildt also points out that the EU wanted to ”prevent an outcome that would undermine human rights,” and writes that ”it is essential that the final document does not contain any references to the abuse of religion, which the EU does not think belong in a document on Human Rights. ”

Their statements point to an importance to do something quickly to save what can be saved, not to hurt worse, and that this had to be done against some kind of resistance, but that one nevertheless ”had” the conference to approve. But the result was then only a prevention of something bad rather than promoting the good.

Svenska Dagbladet’s editorial page use a word that well summarizes what was achieved: damage limitation.

For the damage is already done. Ahmadinejad has spoken. Conference participants applauded. Some thinkers believe, that freedom of speech requires the right of the Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites to express themselves. Sure, they can say what they think, but you forget that this was a conference to combat racism, not to promote it. If Iran and those countries that applauded Ahmadinejad wish to make statements in that direction, they can hold their own conferences and not try to hijack this conference.

The islamist pirates are trying to catch their prey not only in the Gulf of Aden. In this context, a damage limitation-tactics is not sufficient. Condemnations and demonstrative walk outs are not enough to defeat islamism.

Swedish navy will soon patrol the Horn of Africa. Who should clean up in the ideological swamp land in which the United Nations in large part seems to have taken up activities?

Swedish newspaper DN writes (in swedish), that Iran wanted to remove a point in the final document stating that the Holocaust must never be forgotten, but they finally accepted that the item could remain. But Iran can hardly be considered serious when they sign on to this. How many other states are serious? How big a foul play is going on?

It is a high game with high stakes – democracy, freedom, the existence of Israel, peace, reconciliation. Most governments ought to be able to sign on to this – and be serious in doing so. Insincere players must be revealed.

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