Joint statement by a number of OSCE member states at the May 3 OSCE Permanent Council meeting on the 73rd anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War

Friday, 04 May 2018 10:33

STATEMENT

by permanent representatives to the OSCE of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on the 73rd anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War

Vienna, May 3, 2018

 

This year, we mark the 73rd anniversary of the end of the Second World War, one of the greatest tragedies for humanity which brought untold devastation and suffering.

The failure to combine efforts in repelling Nazism as well as the tactic of appeasement in an attempt to stave off the threat condoned the Third Reich’s aggression and led to the outbreak of the Second World War accompanied by unprecedented crimes against peace and humanity. We bow to the veterans and all those who fought for victory of the humanity over this ultimate evil at the frontlines, in partisan units and at the home front. We honour the memory of millions of people who perished in death camps. The magnitude of their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

We have never sought to draw a distinction between our and their victory, and will always remember allied assistance from the countries of the Anti-Hitler Coalition and European anti-Fascists. Today, we pay homage to the courage of all the heroes who resisted Nazism.

The victory in the Second World War shaped today’s system of human rights protection and promotion, and the Nuremberg Trial verdicts provided a legal framing for the victory of the civilised world over National Socialism.

We resolutely condemn the destruction and desecration in a number of countries of monuments to those who fought against Nazism and the holding of marches by veterans of the Waffen SS, recognised as a criminal organisation. We view as unacceptable the glorification as national heroes of those who collaborated with Nazi Germany and opposed the Anti-Hitler Coalition, committing the most atrocious crimes in the years of the Second World War.

Mindful that the desire to put the racial supremacy theory into practice was one of the driving motives of the Second World War, we are alarmed by the growing tension and confrontation within the OSCE space, the revival of the Nazi ideology, accompanied by the equally alarming spread of aggressive nationalism, racism, discrimination, intolerance and xenophobia. We need to show resolve and be uncompromising in countering these trends.

In this connection, we welcome the UN General Assembly Resolution adopted on December 19, 2017 “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.” We believe that it has special relevance in today’s international environment.

We are full of resolve to fight these threats relying, among other things, on the OSCE capabilities with a view to creating a single and indivisible security community in the region based on democracy, the rule of law, economic prosperity, social justice and respect for human rights and freedoms.

Moving forward, our countries will continue to take joint steps strictly in keeping with international law in order to keep neo-Nazism, extremism and xenophobia at bay and strengthen inter-ethnic and inter-cultural harmony.

The lessons of the Second World War remain relevant today, as we are called upon to combine our efforts and resources to respond to threats and challenges to our common security and stability, as well as to protect the aims and principles of the UN Charter.

As we face more and more security challenges and cross-border threats, it is important that countries within the OSCE space work together to promote peaceful resolution of the existing conflicts and prevent new ones. We strongly believe that this is the only way to safeguard the current and future generations from the scourge of new wars.

Delivering on the commitments set out in the OSCE fundamental documents will pay homage to those who fought for peace, liberty, democracy and human dignity, paving the way to a world free from wars and violence.

Peace in the 21st century is worth fighting for with the same dedication and determination as it was fought for in the past century. We must treat the future of our children and grandchildren with the utmost gravity and responsibility.

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