Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on a resolution on combating the glorification of Nazism adopted by the Third Committee of the UN GA 75th session
On November 18 in New York, the Third Committee of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly approved a Russia-sponsored resolution on Combatting glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Along with Russia, the document was co-sponsored by 58 countries from all regions of the world. The resolution was supported by 122 countries, or the absolute majority of the UN member states. Once again, it was opposed by only two countries – the United States and Ukraine, while 53 delegations, including EU member states, abstained.
The resolution makes a significant contribution to the fight against glorification of Nazism and neo-Nazism, to the preservation of the historical memory of the lessons of World War II, and to the eradication of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
We are deeply disappointed by the way the US delegation voted on this important document in the year of the 75th anniversary of the Victory over Nazism and the establishment of the Nuremberg Trials. Who would have thought that after so many years, some members of the United Nations would cite some far-fetched concerns about the freedom of speech to oppose efforts to combat glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism, the ideology of racial superiority and other forms of intolerance, disregarding their obligations under the main human rights agreements, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
In this context, the broad and unwavering support for the Russian initiative by the states committed to the fight against glorification of Nazism is encouraging.
The resolution has gained particular relevance in recent years because there has been a rapid increase in the number of attacks and acts of violence against people of different ethnic backgrounds or linguistic or religious affiliation; race and skin colour bias is on the rise, and migrants and refugees increasingly encounter rejection.
Members of the Nazi movement are increasingly being glorified and former members of the SS, including the Waffen-SS, are being whitewashed. Those who collaborated with the Nazis are proclaimed national heroes and members of national liberation movements. Monuments and memorials are being unveiled in their honour, and torchlight processions are held. At the same time, a full-scale war is being waged on monuments commemorating fighters against Nazism, and history textbooks are being rewritten to meet momentary political interests. Some countries introduce legislative bans on the use of symbols of the Victory over Nazism, which is also an alarming trend.
All these concerns are reflected in the resolution, which, as we strongly believe, should be a guideline for all UN member states in their fight against glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance.