Holy See attends The World Conference against Racism (WCAR)

The Holy See had a representative at the recent World Conference against Racism, the fourth held so far. This is organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a special agency of the United Nations established after the Second World War and the Holocaust. Interestingly some of the Nations, such as Canada, Israel, the United States of America, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland and, after some initial skepticism, Australia announced they would not participate in the conference. So the presence of the Holy See was controversial. It was seen by some as being a vehicle for an attack on Israel as the outspoken Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejhad was present and there were concerns that anti-semitic remarks would be made. Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for human rights said that the boycott undercut the global effort to fight racism.
Pope Benedict said that the conference was needed to combat racial intolerance around the world. He said it would help "put an end to every form of racism, discrimination and intolerance."

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