Question

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 17th May 2021.

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Photo of Nicola Richards Nicola Richards Conservative, West Bromwich East

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the upcoming events marking the 20th anniversary of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, what steps the UK is taking to prevent antisemitism within the United Nations.

Photo of Nicola Richards Nicola Richards Conservative, West Bromwich East

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if the Government will issue a condemnation of the planned Durban IV proceedings in September 2021 at the United Nations General Assembly, marking the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism held in Durban in 2001.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The United Kingdom is committed to combatting all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, both at home and abroad. We believe that one of the most effective ways to tackle injustices and advocate respect among different religious and racial groups is to encourage all states to uphold their human rights obligations. Some of the anti-Semitic actions and speeches in and around the Durban conference and its various follow-up events gave rise to serious concerns. We will consider UK attendance in the light of developments between now and the commemoration event, including the likelihood of any recurrence.

The Foreign Secretary recently reaffirmed the UK's condemnation to anti-Semitism during a debate in the House of Commons on 20 April 2021, and I raised my opposition to anti-Semitism during a Westminster Hall Debate on 26 November 2020. We also delivered a statement at the United Nations General Assembly in November expressing concern about the rise of anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination in the wake of Covid-19.

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