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No to Durban IV—Canada MUST NOT Participate!

CAEF has actively pursued an answer from the Canadian government as to its position in regards to the planned UN Conference celebrating the 20th anniversary of the (so-called) “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance” held in Durban, South Africa. (see CAEF Letter to the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, UN Ambassador and Special Envoy on Antisemitism and Holocaust Remembrance.)

The 2001 Conference resulted in the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action, which while portrayed as an anti-racism action plan actually launched a global antisemitism campaign based on enormous lies about Israel. For Jews this has been akin to legitimizing hatred that was not contained merely to criticism of Israel which in itself has been a major pastime of Jew haters. The conference launched universal antagonism against the Jewish people and intentionally misrepresented Zionism. Israel was singled out for the usual fallacious claim of apartheid. At the Durban conference of 2001, the US and Israel walked out and while Canada stayed it strongly objected to the declaration’s language on Israel.

Canada wisely abstained from participation in Durban II and Durban III conferences and along with Australia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, the UK, UK and the Netherlands, voted in December 2020 against the UN plan to convene Durban IV which is likely to rededicate commitments to the original antisemitic document. However, there has seemed to be equivocation as both the US and Canada co-signed a Joint Statement on Racism dated March 19, which shamefully linked the cause of anti-racism to the Durban Declaration and Program of Action. Therefore, there is an immediate need to demand that Canada not participate in Durban IV, not adopt the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action and that Canada call out the egregious antisemitism in that document that makes a mockery of fighting bigotry.

photo by Yoni Kempinsk

For a quick overview of the situation, read this article in the National Post, March 29, 2021 by Anne Bayefsky, Director of the director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, president of Human Rights Voices and professor emeritus at York University.

A piece of good news was shared on May 5th when the US announced it would not be participating in the next Durban conference, so now we must demand the same clearly stated decision by Canada. On May 6th, Australia announced it also will not participate.

CAEF reached out for an answer. Today in question period, which takes place at 2 PM, we expect to hear the Opposition Foreign Affairs critic, Michael Chong, ask the question of the Government: Will Canada abstain from attending this conference? Watch the conversation on

If the Government of Canada does not state its clear intention not to participate, watch for the CAEF call to action in tomorrow’s Bulletin.


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