Monday, April 20, 2009

Moon's Full Statement

Mark Goldberg of the UN Dispatch has the full text of Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's response to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech opening the UN anti-racism conference:
Statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the remarks by the President of Iran at the Durban Review Conference

I deplore the use of this platform by the Iranian President to accuse, divide and even incite. This is the opposite of what this Conference seeks to achieve. This makes it significantly more difficult to build constructive solutions to the very real problem of racism.

It is deeply regrettable that my plea to look to the future of unity was not heeded by the Iranian President. At my earlier meeting with him, I stressed the importance of the Conference to galvanize the will of the international community toward the common cause of fight against racism.

I further stressed the need to look to the future, not to the past of divisiveness. In this regard, I reminded the President that the UN General Assembly had adopted the resolutions to revoke the equation of Zionism with racism and to reaffirm the historical facts of the Holocaust respectively.

We must all turn away from such a message in both form and substance. We must join hands and work together to achieve a constructive, substantive agenda to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

Goldberg verifies my intuition that -- when adjusted for diplomatese -- Moon's reaction was the equivalent of apoplectic rage. It is extremely rare that a head of state gets called out so explicitly by the Secretary General.

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