Following a telephone conference with several of his EU opposite numbers, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier this evening (19 April) issued in Berlin the following statement:
"I have decided today that Germany will not participate in the Durban Review Conference due to begin tomorrow.
This is not a decision we have taken lightly. But despite intensive efforts notably by the EU in the run-up to the conference, the Federal Government believes there is still a risk the conference will be used as a platform for the pursuit of other interests, just as its predecessor in 2001 was. That is something we cannot accept.
I appeal to all participants to commit to effectively combat racism and racial discrimination and not exploit the forthcoming conference for other purposes.
Germany will follow the conference proceedings very attentively as an observer. We will continue to consult closely with our EU partners and reserve the right to actively participate in the conference at a later date."