UK Against Antisemitism at UN

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) approved a pro-Durban resolution today by 32 for and 10 against, after its passage by consensus was blocked by the United Kingdom whose representative called for a vote.

Initially, it seemed that UNHRC nations who boycotted a UN General Assembly event in September, commemorating the original Durban Conference, were hesitant about taking a similar stand against this latest resolution.

However, the UK’s Permanent Representative to the Council, Simon Manley, delivered a joint statement on behalf of the UK and Australia, saying:

“We do not agree with the multiple references to the Durban Conference, given the historic
concerns over antisemitism. And we cannot accept the references to the Durban Review Conference
or the positive language welcoming the recent commemorative event in New York.”

The statement also said:

“Racism should be tackled in all its forms and, regrettably,
for far too long, the UN has downplayed the scourge of antisemitism.
This must end. The UK is clear that we will not attend future iterations
of the Durban Conference while concerns over antisemitism remain.”

Tweet by Liz Truss

In a supportive statement issued after the vote, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss said:

The UK remains steadfast in its commitment to tackling racism around the world.

The resolution presented the Human Rights Council today contains a number of references to the Durban Conference, from which the UK has repeatedly disassociated itself due to historic concerns over antisemitism.

Discrimination and intolerance has no place in society and we encourage countries to uphold their human rights obligations.

It remains to be seen whether more nations will stand against antisemitism at the UN.