Action taken by Secretary-General of Durban Review Conference regarding disruptive behaviour of three NGOs
23 April 2009
GENEVA -- The High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, in her capacity as Secretary-General of the Durban Review conference, has today taken the following action as a result of unacceptable disruptive behaviour by three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) inside the UN premises here in Geneva during the course of the conference, in clear violation of the rules laid down regarding the conduct of NGOs during the conference. These rules have been made available to all NGOs and can be viewed on the Durban Review Conference website.
Earlier in the week UN security staff, acting in accordance with those regulations, removed the badges of a total of 44 NGO participants in this conference. The breakdown is as follows.
- 20 participants from the Union des Etudiants Juifs de France
- 15 from COEXIST
- 4 from the European Union of Jewish students
- 2 from the Neda Institute for Political and Scientific Research
- 2 from the Women’s Association of Followers of Ahlul Baitii
- 1 from B’nai Brith
After examining the types of conduct, and patterns of conduct, as well as the risk of possible disruptive behaviour during the remainder of the conference, the High Commissioner has issued an instruction that the badges of all the participants of three NGOs be removed, thereby effectively preventing their further participation in the Durban Review Conference.
The three NGOs whose participants will no longer be permitted to take part in this Conference are:
- The Union des Etudiants Juifs de France. UEJF participants were extremely prominent during disruption of the conference on the opening day, in the assembly hall and in other locations in the building. UEJF delegates were intercepted while preparing for a similar disturbance in the Assembly Hall on Tuesday, and while carrying out one in another part of the building. There has, in the view of the organizers of the Conference, been a clearly orchestrated effort by members of this NGO, possibly in league with others, to disrupt the conference. UEJF had registered 194 participants for this conference. Of these 31 had actually picked up their badges as of Thursday morning.
- The Neda Institute for Political and Scientific Research. Two of the delegates of this NGO were intercepted with inciting materials, possibly in coordination with other organizations. Distributing any materials outside designated areas is clearly prohibited, let alone offensive ones. (13 registered, 12 took their badges).
- COEXIST – for similar reasons to those mentioned for UEJF, and during several of the same incidents. 22 participants of COEXIST were registered, 21 of whom have picked up badges.
In all these three NGOs had registered a total of 229 participants (UEJF: 194; Neda 13; COEXIST: 22). Actual badges picked up by their delegates as of Thursday morning totalled 64 (UEJF: 31; Neda 12; COEXIST: 21).
The High Commissioner does not exclude the possibility of taking similar actions against any other NGO found to behave in a manner clearly violating the rules and regulations relating to behaviour inside UN premises during the remainder of this conference.