CBNNews.com - Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier announced that Canada will not participate in the United Nations 2009 conference in Durban, South Africa, due to the meeting's anti-Semitic format.
Canada is the first nation to shun the meeting.
"[We] hoped the preparatory process for the 2009…conference would remedy mistakes of the past. Despite our efforts, we have concluded it will not. Canada, therefore, will not participate," the statement read.
"Our government sees no value in allowing Canada's participation to continue to dignify or legitimize such hateful and un-Canadian propaganda," said Jason Kenney, Canadian secretary of state for multiculturalism. Kenny said the Canadian government believed the second Durban conference would "showcase the same regrettable anti-Semitism" as the meeting in 2001.
The Canadian branch of B'nai Brith (a worldwide Jewish service organization) praised the government for shunning "a farce of a conference" that "pays lip service to anti-racism, but in fact provides a platform for the promotion of hatred and bigotry."
In 2001, U.S. and Israeli representatives walked out of the meeting after delegates drafted language labeling Israel a racist and apartheid state.