The Netherlands may boycott a United Nations conference on racism unless the draft text of the closing declaration is amended, foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen said in Geneva on Tuesday.
‘The draft closing document is not acceptable in its present form,’ Verhagen said in his speech to the UN human right’s council.
‘It does not focus on the main challenge of addressing the problem of racism. Instead, the thematic world conference is being used by some to try to force their concept of defamation of religions and their focus on one regional conflict on all of us.’
Verhagen said the Netherlands ‘cannot accept any text, which would put religion above individuals; does not condemn discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; condones anti-semitism or singles out Israel. These are clear red lines for the Netherlands.’
The US, Canada and Israel have already pulled out of the conference, scheduled to take place April 20-25 in Geneva, because of the draft text of the concluding document.
For Verhagen’s full speech, in English, click here
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