"Almost 20 years after the Durban Conference, Israel once again called for a vote on this resolution. Twenty years is usually an anniversary that should be celebrated. However, this is not one of those anniversaries. Israel finds it important to remind this Committee why it calls for a vote on this resolution and why the celebration of this event is, to say the least, questionable.
On September 8, 2001, countries from around the world, including Israel, gathered in good faith in Durban, South Africa for the purpose of combating racism. Sadly, as the Conference unfolded, it became clear that, although the vast majority of countries gathered to unite in common fight against racism, a small number of participants saw it as no more than a political opportunity. The Conference turned into a platform for delegitimizing, demonizing, and defaming the State of Israel, acts that, at the very least, have nothing to do with fighting racism if are not outright racist on their own merit. Israel had no other choice but to withdraw from the Durban Conference in 2001, and eight years later, together with other countries from the 2009 Review Conference as the Review Conference proved to be worse than the original.
Madam Chair, what the Durban Conference achieved, including in its outcome document, is long-lasting damage to the fight against racism. It has mainstreamed, as we like to say here in the Third Committee, politics into that fight, making it much harder to win. Where we all once separated our political views and disagreements, deep as they may be, from our shared effort to protect our common core values and convictions, since the Durban Conference, that effort has become yet another battleground for opposing interests. The Durban Conference is not an event for commemoration, but rather an example of how an opportunity to make a real difference can be cynically used for political purposes, something that we are all familiar with here at the UN."