Statement by permanent representatives of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan to the OSCE on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna, May 4, 2017
On May 9 we will celebrate one of the most memorable and sacred dates in the world history: the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
Victory Day has rightfully gone down in history as a symbol of valour and heroism, an unprecedented feat and immense hardships that fell upon tens of millions of people who laid down their lives to defend freedom and save humankind from Nazism.
We greatly appreciate the contribution of the Allies to our common victory in World War II, the decisive role in which was played by the peoples of the Soviet Union who defeated the main forces of the Wehrmacht, and other countries that resisted Nazism. We pay tribute to the people of all ethnicities and countries who died fighting this evil on the war fronts, in the Soviet partisan units, under bombs, were tortured in death camps, or fell victim to Nazi occupation and deprivation. We bow our heads to those who selflessly worked for the common victory on the home front.
In this regard, we would like to remind everyone of another important date, April 11, which is celebrated as the International Day of the Liberation of Prisoners of Nazi Concentration Camps and was established in memory of the uprising of the prisoners at the Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945.
Any attempts to falsify the history of the War or to erase tragic lessons of history from our memory are unacceptable. Our duty is to take care of war veterans and prisoners of concentration camps, whose numbers are getting smaller every year; to safeguard the memory of all the victims of Nazism, to preserve their burial sites and monuments built in their honour, and not to allow their defilement.
Together, we must oppose any attempts to whitewash the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis and their collaborators who were convicted by the Nuremberg Tribunal, and to seek punishment for those who have so far managed to escape justice. Such crimes do not have a statute of limitations.
Keeping in mind the fact that the desire to translate theories of racial superiority into practice became one of the main driving forces of World War II, we note with deep concern the revival of Nazi ideology, the alarming growth of associated manifestations of aggressive nationalism, racism, discrimination, intolerance and xenophobia. It is imperative to resist this in a decisive and uncompromising manner.
In this regard, we welcome the resolution adopted at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly on December 19, 2016 on combatting glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. Given the current international environment, we consider its provisions to be particularly relevant.
Against the backdrop of multiplying challenges to security and cross-border threats, there’s again a need for combined efforts of the states to act within the OSCE in order to provide peaceful resolution to existing conflicts and to prevent new ones from emerging. We are convinced that this is the only way to save the present and future generations from the scourge of new wars.
The anniversary of Victory over Nazism serves as a reminder to all of us of the need to consolidate the efforts of the international community, including the OSCE participating states, based on the principle of indivisibility of security, including in order to develop sustainable immunity to the virus of Nazism and its manifestations, and to prevent the recurrence of the 20th century catastrophe, which was World War II.