U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release February 14, 2009
Statement by Robert A. Wood, Acting Spokesman
U.S. Participation in Consultations for the World Conference Against Racism
The State Department will send a delegation to the February 16-19 consultations for the World Conference Against Racism as a means of evaluating the current direction of Conference preparations and whether U.S. participation in the Conference itself is warranted.
This will be the first opportunity the Administration has had to engage in the negotiations for the Durban Review, and – in line with our commitment to diplomacy – the U.S. has decided to send a delegation to engage in the negotiations on the text of the conference document.
The intent of our participation is to work to try to change the direction in which the Review Conference is heading. We hope to work with other countries that want the Conference to responsibly and productively address racism around the world.
Our participation in these informal negotiations does not indicate – and should not be misconstrued to indicate – that the United States will participate in April in the World Conference Against Racism itself. Nor does it indicate that we will necessarily participate in future preparations for the Conference. These decisions will be taken at a later date, depending on the results that we see from the negotiating process.