| GEO World|
| US 'will not join' anti-racism conference: State Dpt|
| Updated at: 0653 PST, Sunday, April 19, 2009|
WASHINGTON: The United States "will not join" the UN conference on racism starting Monday in Geneva because its final declaration still includes language the US "is unable to support," the State Department said Saturday.
"Unfortunately, it now seems certain these remaining concerns will not be addressed in the document to be adopted by the conference next week. Therefore, with regret, the United States will not join the review conference," State Department spokesman Robert Wood said in a statement.
Negotiators in Geneva said Friday that Western and most Muslim states had agreed on a declaration for the five-day Durban Review Conference that ironed out the most controversial issues relating to religious discrimination, Israel and the Middle East.
The United States, along with Israel, walked out of the landmark World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001 after a row with some Muslim states about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and anti-Semitism.
US doubts have persisted through preparations in recent months for the Durban Review Conference in Geneva, which is meant to take stock of international progress in fighting against racism and xenophobia since 2001.