Australia Toughens Stance

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith toughened his language on Durban II, implying more clearly that changes will need to be made to the text if Australia is to attend: “The Australian Government will give very careful consideration to what, if any, changes are made to the text to see whether it is appropriate for Australia to participate in the conference.” Durban II has become a bit of a political issue in Australia — the opposition’s called for withdrawal, and Australia is also in the midst of a diplomatic campaign for a future Security Council seat.

In this report from Australia’s ABC, High Commissioner Navi Pillay again blames “one source” for putting out “propaganda” and “false information” about Durban II by calling it a “hate-fest.” (Actually, that was Durban I, and many are concerned about the prospect of a repeat.) Yet Pillay plays coy: “I can’t tell you exactly who the lobby is.”

Just say it already! Hey, if you say it in a long, nasty email, it’ll get you on the front page of the paper.

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