• Sweden edition
 
Sweden to boycott UN racism conference

Sweden to boycott UN racism conference

Published: 18 Apr 2009 11:56 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Apr 2009 11:56 GMT+02:00

“This has been a difficult and problematic negotiation that has certainly become more constructive and positive in the last week, but we have decided that Sweden will not be participating at the ministerial level,” she said.

In the days leading up to the conference, there have been intense discussions between, grossly oversimplified, “east and west” regarding differences over issues such as freedom of expression vs. religious freedom, the Holocaust and colonialism.

In the last week, the negotiations have led to the drafting of a document that has been seen by the conference as a success, according to Sabuni. But nevertheless, Sweden refuses to participate in a meeting where individuals such as the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has taken controversial stances on many of the issues, will be present. This is due to worry that it will be a repeat of the last conference on racism – which was chaotic – eight years ago.

Civil servants might still participate, depending on how the discussions unfold.

When asked by TT if she thought it might send a conflicting message to those powers who will come face-to-face with the EU during these negotations, Sabuni answered in the affirmative.

“Yes, and if you read the document right now, it wouldn't be a problem. But the document is open and as a country, we must send clear signals about what is acceptable. In this case, we are not going to legitimize the non-democratic powers in place at the ministerial level in Durban,” she said.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

14:08 April 18, 2009 by byke
I am not surprised sweden wont send an official considering the amount of breaches sweden makes on human rights.

Maybe sweden should look at its own breaches first before taking the high horse.
19:29 April 18, 2009 by ConnieLeePortman
Good decision Sweden!

Geneva conference taken over by radical Islamic countries who don't understand what is freedom of speech ,freedom of religion, human rights, etc
19:40 April 18, 2009 by Brtahan
Good , because its no use to speak about freedom of rights religion etc with people of no brains like Iran Government. Byke the one who wrote the first comment go to other countries and see the discrimination then speak about sweden here they are 1000 years more develop then then the middle east countries. there might be some verbal discrimination her and they prefer swedes more in certain things but it wont reach that they will kill because you are black, or different religion, or gay etc, like in iran.
21:04 April 18, 2009 by me_i_sverige
Good, this conference is just going to be a propaganda site for those countries where there is no absolute human right. I support Sweden decision.

Mr Byke, Can you show us some breaches on human rights made by Sweden? or, are you one of the so-called fake asylum-seeker rejected!!
00:16 April 19, 2009 by CanadianEh
Well no surprise there, Sweden looks like it's finally coming out of its neutral shell. But then again maybe they should send someone, maybe the delegates they send will be able to teach the rest of the country about how to socialise properly with human beings. What is the defintion of Freedom for one person may mean something else to someone else. There are too many arrogant people that do not understand how the world works but then again you've chosen the right country to be in, Sweden, where everyone looks at the shoes they wear instead of the people they have to live with....
08:01 April 19, 2009 by shpongle
Yes because Canada is doing so well with the diplomacy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aARtclbEMGs

Have fun over there though. Accused for being racist and intolerant by the most racist and intolerant countries in the world always makes good comedy though.
08:50 April 19, 2009 by CanadianEh
Response to "shpongle" I never said Canada was perfect. There are racist in Canada and there is currently a government that mimics the Bush administration. But then again every country including Sweden are Racist when it comes to profiling individuals because of race, reliegeon, and creed. Here are Sweden's examples...

http://www.thelocal.se/18536/20090330/

http://www.thelocal.se/18156/20090312/

However we need to looks past these differences and educate the public to battle these infringements on rights, and that's why this confference was set up by the UN. If you don't go you won't learn... Get it
09:48 April 19, 2009 by Peanuts
Just like a right wing government appropriate an Integration Minister who is really intolerant. It saves so much work.
09:49 April 19, 2009 by shpongle
lets put things into perspective.

On 23 January 2008, Canada stated it would not participate in the Durban Review Conference

On 19 November 2008, Israel announced it would boycott the Durban Review Conference.

On 27 February 2009, the United States announced it would boycott the conference

On 5 March 2009, Italy

On 12 March 2009, Australia's Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, said in the federal parliament that Australia would join Israel, Canada, the United States and Italy in withdrawing from the United Nations-sponsored conference if the draft documents were not revised. “If we form the view that the text is going to lead to nothing more than an anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic harangue and an anti-Jewish propaganda exercise, Australia will not be in attendance,” Smith said

On March 14 the German federal government was considering a boycott of the conference.On April 16 Nooke stated at this point it was very unlikely that Germany would attend the Durban conference. [17]

On 16 March 2009, the European Union stated it would boycott the conference unless major changes were made to its declaration.[18] Britain said it would not attend unless the draft showed a "change in direction.

On 17 March 2009, Yuri Boychenko, chairman of the group responsible for drafting the conference's declaration, issued a draft that omitted any reference to the Palestinian territories or to defamation of religion. (i guess we'll see what effect this will have for hte participations)

On 18 April, it was revealed that the government of Sweden would boycott the conference, sending no ministers to the event. A spokesman said that such a presence would "legitimize undemocratic forces," adding that the country might send a lower level delegation

On 19 April, the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith announced that Australia would be boycotting the conference.

The support in the west for this conference does seem overwhelming , doesn't it.
09:53 April 19, 2009 by RoyceD
I hardly think not representing yourself at an international conference is making a statement... I would have thought sending someone to voice your concerns is far more productive and is why we elect governments in the first place.
09:59 April 19, 2009 by shpongle
" but we have decided that Sweden will not be participating at the ministerial level,”

"Civil servants might still participate, depending on how the discussions unfold"

Unfortunatly these kind of things aren't exactly like casual discussion a bbq
16:33 April 19, 2009 by Mzungu
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has stirred outrage by repeatedly calling the Holocaust of the Jews a "myth", is the only prominent head of state so far scheduled to attend. <BBC> He does like to hear himself talk, a great opportunity beckons!

*at least tax payers will get off lightly*
18:16 April 19, 2009 by Iraniboy
Who talked about Iranian President in Swedish authorities? It seems to be only The Locals' paranoia!!

The funny part is that Ahmadinejad is still balmed for questioning Holocaust but nobody is blamed for recent massacres in Palestine and Lebanon and nobody is blamed when Israeli PM threaten to attack Iran!! Double Standards comes to mind.
18:53 April 19, 2009 by Kind Man
Some losers talks shits and call it freedom of speech did u know that? If not then look at yourself once again coz you sound like one of them who call Islamic countries radical.

Radical is those countries who make bombs, jetfighters, guns, and supports war and killing of innocent women who dies by these weapons in palastine,Afghanistan Iraq m m.
19:16 April 19, 2009 by glamshek
There is a huge communication gap between the West and the East. If a gay is a proud for the West, it is considered as an insult in the East. For all of this, such conferences provide a good platform to discuss things and minimize the gap. Sweden must go. If you do not have the logic, you run away as coward or attack as coward. So we do not expect this from a country that makes tall claims of Human Rights, Freedom of speech etc.
19:20 April 19, 2009 by glamshek
Do not run or attack like cowards. If you have a point, go and make it. If you cannot then accept the point of your opponent. Becoz you may not have it.
19:37 April 19, 2009 by voidplay
Way to go Sweden ... hear no evil from the axis of evils, there would be no CNN to cover your ass so better not go there and loose face. Anyway Uncle SAM is gonna spank you if you dare too.

Anyway it is very funny with people calling N.Korea childish for not throwing away its only trump card (N.Weapons.) and at the sametime hailing major power for being too sissys, to attend a world conference.
14:30 April 20, 2009 by jacks
Looks like a wise decision..

Probably, it might prove more rewarding for Sweden to focus on similar issues within own territory.
19:15 April 20, 2009 by shpongle
well, this was a huge success. who would've thought.
19:48 April 20, 2009 by voidplay
Refusing to participate in a dialog === fear of being criticized (Sweden, USA, UK)

= refusing to negotiate (Iran, N.Korea)

I wonder if the leadership in Iran and N.Korea are stronger and mature than these elected representatives.
Today's headlines
National
Sweden Democrat led biker gang chapter
Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat led biker gang chapter

A senior Sweden Democrat in Svenljunga municipality in western Sweden has a long criminal past and has previously served as a chapter head in the notorious criminal gang Bandidos. READ  

Swedish rockers dice with death in coach fire
Photo: Deathstars

Swedish rockers dice with death in coach fire

Swedish industrial rock band Deathstars narrowly avoided a serious tragedy in the early hours of Saturday morning when the tour bus in which they were travelling caught fire in the Austrian alps. READ  

Winter
Clocks go back for Swedish winter time
Photo: Charlie Rydell/AP

Clocks go back for Swedish winter time

Sweden switched over to winter time in the early hours of Sunday morning meaning that you just enjoyed an extra hour of sleep. READ  

National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Photo: TT

Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains

Torrential rains in western Sweden have left some towns submersed as water levels have risen to 1.5 metres above normal for the season with forecasts indicating that is worse to come. READ  

Ebola crisis
Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund
Photo: TT

Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund

Sweden has offered a new sizeable contribution to the fund set up by UN chief Ban K-moon to fight the Ebola outbreak. READ  

Society
'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme
Photo: Lars-Göran Thuresson/Älgriket

'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme

The Swedish hunting association runs a project to encourage young asylum-seekers to learn about hunting, a move which has proved controversial among some far right groups. READ  

Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

976
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN