Germany will not attend the Durban Conference 10th anniversary commemoration planned for 22 September in New York. Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle made the following statement today (2 September) on the margins of the Gymnich meeting in Sopot (Poland):
“Unfortunately, we cannot rule out the possibility that the Durban Conference commemoration in New York will be hijacked to make anti-Semitic comments as was the case at previous conferences, so Germany will not be participating in this event. This is also an expression of our special responsibility regarding Israel.
This decision does not alter our commitment to the international fight against racism and discrimination. Our goal continues to be finally achieving concrete results in this matter so important to German and European human rights policy.”
The fight against racism is a central issue of concern for German human rights policy and the German Government has been very committed to this internationally, especially for historical reasons. The German Government has therefore also continually worked hard towards concrete anti-racism measures within the framework of the so-called Durban Process.
The decision not to take part in the Durban Conference 10th anniversary commemoration planned for 22 September was made on the basis of intensive deliberation within the German Government.
In 2009, Germany also decided against participating in the so-called Durban Review Conference, saying that the risk of a political misuse of the conference was too high.