The Committee then took up a text on combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (document A/C.3/69/L.56/Rev.1).
Speaking before the vote, the representative of Ukraine said Stalinism had killed many people in the Gulag, condemning Hitler and Stalin alike as international criminals. Calling on the Russian Federation to stop glorifying and feeding Stalinism, he said he could not support the draft text. Any intolerance should be dealt with in an appropriate and balanced manner, he added. The manipulation of history for one’s own political agenda was wrong, he said, noting that the Russian Federation was supporting neo-Nazi groups and terrorist groups in Crimea. The proposed draft resolution sent the wrong message, he added, saying he would vote against it.
A delegate of Belarus noted the growth of neo-Nazi movements that was occurring under the pretext of freedom of speech. She then expressed her concern over the use of the Internet and social media to propagate national superiority. As every fourth inhabitant of her country had died in the Second World War, she reiterated the importance of the draft resolution, and encouraged Member States to support it.
The representative of the Russian Federation, making a correction to the draft, said that in the text distributed by the Secretariat, some words had been omitted in the second line of the last preambular paragraph. The words were “over Nazism”, and should be included in the draft. He took the floor again to ask who had requested a vote on this draft.
The Chair responded that it was the delegation of the United States.
Speaking in explanation of vote before vote, the representative of the United States said she had joined other countries in expressing abhorrence for attempts to promote Nazi ideology, and condemning all forms of religious or ethnic hatred. Her delegation was concerned about the overt political motives that had driven the main sponsor of the current resolution. That Government had employed those phrases in the current crisis in Ukraine. That was offensive and disrespectful to those who had suffered at the hands of Nazi regimes. Therefore, the United States would vote against the resolution.
The text was then approved by a record vote of 115 in favour, 3 against (Canada, Ukraine, United States), with 55 abstentions.
Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Italy, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the Union was committed to fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance with comprehensive efforts at national, regional and international levels. While States were free to decide what to include in the draft text, he noted that the Union was concerned about the sincerity of the text, as the main sponsor had violated the human rights.
Also speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Liechtenstein, speaking on behalf of Iceland, Switzerland and her country, said they were against all sorts of extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups, as well as racist extremist movements and ideologies. However, they had decided to abstain from voting.
Also explaining his country’s position after the vote, Equatorial Guinea’s representative said African countries knew well about racism and apartheid. His delegation had voted in favour of the text, and wanted all sorts of Nazi groups to be labelled as terrorists.
The representative of Norway stated that her delegation had aligned itself with the European Union statement delivered on behalf of the representative of Italy.