Comment by the Information and Press Department on the adoption by the Third Committee of the 72nd UN General Assembly session of a resolution against glorification of Nazism

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 07:22

On November 16, the Third Committee of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, meeting in New York, adopted a resolution initiated by Russia, “Combating the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

The co-authors of the document are Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Venezuela, Vietnam, Guyana, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe, India, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Laos, Mauritania, Mali, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Rwanda, Serbia, Syria, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan,  Uganda, Uzbekistan, Philippines, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Republic of South Africa and South Sudan. The resolution was endorsed by 125 states, two delegations (USA and Ukraine) voted against and 51 countries abstained from voting.

The results of the vote demonstrate unflagging support by the international community of this traditional Russian initiative that was put forward at the UN General Assembly for the thirteenth consecutive year.  

The resolution once again condemns the glorification of the Nazi movement and the embellishment of former members of the Nazi SS organisation as well as its integral parts, including the Waffen SS, recognised by the Nuremberg Tribunal as criminal organisations.

Deep concern and indignation was expressed over the fact that certain countries declared war on monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against Nazism and fascism, which last year assumed the character of purposeful barbaric policy on the part of the authorities in a number of states.

One cannot but feel disappointed that some delegations continue to remain unprepared on the pretence of concern about freedom of expression, to oppose the spread of racist and extremist ideas. This approach contradicts the essence of Article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which envisages criminal prosecution for such actions. 

The United States' position defies rational explanation. Two days before the vote, its representatives, though they had never appeared at the talks, circulated amendments aimed at radically changing the essence and character of our initiative. The fact that the above-mentioned proposals were rejected by the impressive majority of the UN member states (81 voted against, 73 abstained and only the United States, Ukraine and Israel voted in favour) confirms the urgency and significance of this project, presented by Russia and a group of co-authors,  for the international community.       

More than 70 years ago, allies in the anti-Hitler coalition managed to rise up above their ideological and political differences in order to confront a common challenge to the entire civilised humanity. Combating the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other extremely dangerous phenomena condemned by this resolution is our duty not only to the founding fathers of the United Nations, but also to the “generations yet to come,” whom they were determined to “save from the horrors of war.”

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