Andrew BoltÂ â€“
THE decision of Tom Calma to attend last week’s UN Durban II ConferenceÂ in his capacity as race discrimination commissioner was controversial in more ways than one. The principal proponents of the conference, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and various rogue states, including some of the worst abusers of human rights on this planet, had two clear agendas.
Their first agenda was to achieve the UN’s imprimatur for a position that Islam in particular (but not exclusively) be shielded from criticism in the media and other areas of public life… The second agenda was to achieve that same imprimatur for demonisation of the Jewish nation, the state of Israel, with no other nation singled out for criticism…
The proponents of the conference will have noticed inevitably that Australia (along with the US, Israel, Canada, New Zealand, Italy, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany) publicly chose not to participate in a conference whose clear design, prepared during many months, was to promote a particular form of racism rather than to fight all forms of racism. Having an official as senior as the race discrimination commissioner attend as an observer could be perceived as a signal that Australia might in the future adopt some or all of the Durban II agenda.
Did Australia really oppose the conference or was Australia having a bet both ways? It is a pity that Calma did not follow Australian government policy and have no truck with racism of any hue.