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UN Conference Approves Anti-Racism Declaration

More than 100 countries with delegates at a global conference on racism have agreed on a declaration calling for an end to intolerance and xenophobia.

The declaration, adopted Tuesday in Geneva, reaffirms a 2001 statement issued at the first United Nations conference on racism in Durban, South Africa.

The decision Tuesday by consensus came a day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stirred controversy with an address in which he described Israel as "cruel, repressive and racist." Mr. Ahmadinejad's address sparked a walkout by delegates from 23 European Union nations.

The United States and eight other Western countries boycotted the conference over fears that it would become a forum for anti-Semitism.

U.N. and Western diplomats criticized the Iranian president's remarks as outrageous, anti-Semitic and an incitement to hatred. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the Iranian leader used the meeting "to accuse, divide and even incite."

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.