January 1, 2008 | Press Release

Letter sent in protest of the “Durban Review Conference”

January 2, 2008

A letter signed by FDD President Clifford May and FDD Distinguished Advisor Newt Gingrich was sent to Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, the US representative at the United Nations, urging him to do everything in his power to prevent the UN from organizing a “Durban Review Conference”.

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December 21, 2007


UN Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad
United States Mission to the United Nations
140 East 45th St.
New York, NY  10017

Dear Ambassador Khalilzad:

We are writing to urge you to exert your most vigorous efforts to prevent the United Nations from organizing a “Durban Review Conference.”

The United States should not sanction – much less fund – what promises to be another orgy of anti-Americanism, anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism.

As you know, this conference, also known as Durban II, is intended as a follow-up to the infamous conference that took place in Durban, South Africa in September 2001.  Its purpose was supposed to be to combat racism.  In fact, it deteriorated into a hate-fest unlike anything seen since Germany in the 1930s.  Disgusted by the vile rhetoric and crude imagery on display throughout the conference, the U.S. delegation properly walked out.

Durban II would likely be a repetition – and it would cost millions of dollars, with nearly a quarter of the budget being paid by American taxpayers.  The planning committee for this conference is chaired by Libya, and its 20-member executive committee includes Iran, whose terrorist-sponsoring regime routinely calls for “Death to America!” and the “elimination” of Israel.

The United States led the way in creating the United Nations out of the ashes of World War II.  The U.N. was meant to be a venue for global security and cooperation.  This conference, like its predecessor, would mock that mission.  It would deepen the cleavages between nations, religions and cultures, giving the world’s most despotic and racist regimes another venue in which to spew their venom.

Again, the United States should not sanction this misguided effort and Americans should not have to pay for it.  We urge you in the strongest possible terms: Do everything in your power to stop it; make it a top priority; use all your diplomatic skills to convince other nations to do so as well.



Clifford D. May                                                                     
President, Foundation for Defense of Democracies                  

Newt Gingrich
Former Speaker of the House
Distinguished Advisor to Foundation for Defense of Democracies