With the Durban Review Conference fast approaching, the U.S. is still mulling whether or not it will participate.  The State Department had this to say on Monday:

We appreciate that many delegations continue to work hard in good will to improve the current text. We hope that these remaining concerns will be addressed, so that the United States can re-engage the conference process with the hope of arriving at a Conference document that we can support.”

The two stumbling blocks to U.S. participation remain the length of the document (despite being whittled down from 45 pages to 17) and the affirmation of the first Durban document. The State Department also believes that though the defamation of religion sections have been removed, “language related to ‘incitement’ of religious hatred” is a “concept that the United States believes should be narrow and clearly defined and made consistent with human rights obligations ensuring freedom of expression.”

Read the release here.

Earlier this month the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, stated that she was “firmly convinced that the current text contains all the elements that would foster and underpin a consensual outcome of the Durban Review Conference.”

The draft document in its current form can be read here.

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