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CUPE has urged the Canadian government to halt its boycott of the United Nations world conference on racism set for Durban, South Africa, in 2009, and to reinstate Canada as a lead participant at the conference.

“Your decision to remove Canada from this critical global debating forum is evidence, not of our purity in this important battle, as you seem to suggest, but of our unwillingness to find a collective solution to the problem,” National President Paul Moist and National Secretary-Treasurer Claude Genereux said in a Feb. 12 letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

“At CUPE, we see the everyday fight against racism in our workplaces, our communities and in society as an imperative battle for social and global justice,” the letter said. “We want our government to reflect that urgent concern at Durban II. By refusing to accept that responsibility, you do all Canadians an injustice.”