Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was heckled as he gave a speech at the opening of a five-day conference on racism yesterday, with delegates streaming out of the auditorium as he spoke.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the conference earlier saying he was “profoundly disappointed” at boycotts by some Western countries, while all forms of racism persist.
Ban also released a statement condemning those who might deny or minimize the Holocaust as the conference began in Geneva.
“We dream of moving in a new direction yet too many of us cling to the past,” the UN chief said.
“We speak of finding a new unity as times demand. Yet we remain weak and divided and stuck in old ways,” he said, adding that he was “profoundly disappointed” about mutual recriminations and absent countries.
“Some nations who by rights should be helping us to forge a path to a better future are not here. Outside these halls, interest groups of many political and ideological stripes shout against one another in acrimony,” he said.
“They too should be with us here,” Ban said. “I deeply regret that some have chosen to stand aside. I hope they will not do so for long.”
Poland yesterday joined the US, Israel, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and New Zealand in boycotting the UN meeting over fears that it would degenerate into a forum for anti-Semitic views.
Ahmadinejad has on previous occasions called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” and described the Holocaust as a “myth.”
A UN spokeswoman said Ban “condemns Holocaust denial and those who minimize the importance of the Holocaust.”
Ban pointed out that in 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution saying that “ignoring the historical fact of those terrible events increases the risk they will be repeated,” to mark the beginning of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
He later met Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the conference, which is to review progress in combating racism since a gathering in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.
Ban also told the meeting that the Holocaust was also a reminder that racism may be institutionalized.
“Alternately it may express itself less formally as the hatred of a particular people or class — as anti-Semitism, for example, or the newer Islamophobia,” he said.
VIGILANCE: From tomorrow all arrivals must provide the result of a PCR test issued within three days of boarding, and the CECC asked people to report anyone who has faked their result The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) expects an increase in the number of returning travelers in the coming days, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, adding that the varying qualities of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports from other countries is a big concern. Chen, who heads the center, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders scholarship award ceremony in Taipei. “As the global COVID-19 situation is worsening, and with some holidays coming up, there might be an increase in the number of overseas Taiwanese returning to Taiwan,” he
SKIN, ENTRAILS: Placards also dotted the legislative chamber, with slogans such as ‘Oppose ractopamine pork — not US pork’ and ‘Much ado about nothing’ Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday pelted Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) with pig skin and entrails as he addressed the Legislative Yuan on pork imports for the first time since the KMT’s boycott began on Sept. 18. Opposition lawmakers have been demanding an apology from the government for its decision to lift its ban on the importation of US pork containing residues of the livestock drug ractopamine. After Su arrived at 10am for his 13th attempt to deliver a regular policy report, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus moved to change the agenda to accommodate the premier. The motion resulted in cries of
CECC RULES: The autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program, including mandatory mask wearing in eight types of public venues and indoor facilities, begins today A temporary, two-week ban on Indonesian migrant workers entering the nation is to begin on Friday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday as it reported 24 new imported cases of COVID-19. Twenty of the new cases are Indonesian migrant workers who arrived between Nov. 11 and Friday last week, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The cases were discovered during a special project on Friday to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on all 939 recently arrived Indonesian migrant workers in centralized quarantine facilities, as the majority of imported cases in the past
Passports with a redesigned cover highlighting Taiwan would be issued starting on Jan. 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The new cover design, which was announced on Sept. 2, highlights Taiwan by printing the word in a larger font. While the new passport cover retains “the Republic of China” in Chinese, the English name is printed along the outer circle of the national emblem, which would enable other nations to clearly identify that it is a Taiwanese passport, not a Chinese passport, the ministry said. The costs and application procedures for the new version are the same as