Opposing Nazism at the UN:

Canada Joins U.S. and Ukraine in Voting
Against Anti-Nazi Resolution

The UN General Assembly’s Third Committee passed a resolution on November 21 condemning attempts to glorify Nazism and Nazi ideology and the denial of German Nazi war crimes. The Resolution passed with 115 votes against three, with 55 nations abstaining. The three countries which voted against the Resolution were the U.S., Canada and Ukraine. The resolution is to be formally adopted by the UN General Assembly as a body in December.

The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly is tasked with tackling social,humanitarian and human rights issues.

The Resolution passed on November 21 voices concern over the rise of racism-driven crimes around the world and the influence that parties with extremist agendas are gaining.

It calls for the universal adoption of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Many nations including the U.S., the UK, China and India, signed the Convention but did not recognize a mechanism to resolve individual complaints it establishes, which makes the Convention unenforceable in their jurisdictions.

The Resolution also decries attempts to whitewash Nazi collaborators by depicting them as freedom fighters. It condemns any form of denial of Nazi war crimes, including the Jewish Holocaust.


In what has become an annual event in Vilnius, Latvia in recent years, supporters of Latvian Waffen SS troops hold a commemorative march on March 16, 2014. The support for Nazism and the rehabilitation of war Nazi criminals throughout Europe in the context of the U.S. imperialist aggression, war and attempts to isolate Russia underscores the necessity of the anti-Nazi resolution at the UN.

The resolution “Expresses deep concern about the glorification, in any form, of the Nazi movement, neo-Nazism and former members of the Waffen SS organization, including by erecting monuments and memorials and holding public demonstrations in the name of the glorification of the Nazi past, the Nazi movement and neo-Nazism, as well as by declaring or attempting to declare such members and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition and collaborated with the Nazi movement participants in national liberation movements.”

Russia, which submitted the draft resolution, said it regretted that it could not be adopted unanimously.

“The fact that the U.S., Canada and Ukraine voted against, while delegations from EU member states abstained in the vote on this draft resolution, which was supported by an overwhelming majority of the UN member states, is extremely regrettable,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Ukraine’s position is particularly dispiriting and alarming. One can hardly understand how a country, the people of which suffered their full share of the horrors of Nazism and contributed significantly to our common victory against it, can vote against a resolution condemning its glorification,” the ministry said.


Record of the vote on the anti-Nazi resolution at the UN’s Third Committee, November 21, 2014, highlighting the ignominious role of the U.S., Canada and Ukraine — click to enlarge.

In previous years Ukraine had abstained, not voted against the resolution, while the U.S. has consistently voted against it. This is the third time Canada has voted against the resolution. Ukraine’s representative at the session of the Third Committee, Andrey Tsymbalyuk, presented the argument of the U.S. and Canada based on doublespeak. The Ukraine does condemn Nazism and neo-Nazism, he said, but it could not endorse the Russian resolution because in the past Ukraine suffered not only from Nazism, but also from Stalinism.

“As long as Stalinism and neo-Stalinism are not condemned as strongly as Nazism, neo-Nazism and other forms of hatred, Ukraine would not be able to back this document,” Tsymbalyuk said.

The blogger Vladimir Suchan comments on the Ukrainian stand:

“[T]he fact is that Stalin was the leader who led and organized the defeat of Nazism in WWII. The Ukrainian demand to condemn Stalin (or Stalinism), really just a foil for the Soviet Union, in the resolution against Nazism is as good as demanding that the main enemy and victim of Nazism be condemned together with Nazism itself. Further, to assume that Stalin and Nazism represent the same thing is a thought which liberalism propagated and behind which new Nazis try to shield themselves and advance their own interests. Moreover, the demand to condemn Nazism today has a direct bearing on today’s politics, while Stalin does not present any obvious direct threat to anyone. And it was Nazism that started World War II. Not Stalin. Nazis carried out the Odessa massacre, and among the victims were also Odessa communists. At the earthly plane, no one is without […] sins, as Christianity says. However, this does not mean that there is moral/immoral equivalence or that complete relativism or pretentious neutrality is the way to go. A cut and determination has to be made, and a stance (and side) has to be taken.”

Suchan continues: ‘It is also not that hard to see that Ukraine’s Nazi regime is trying to use ‘Stalinism’ as a code-word for anyone who fights today’s Nazism — for the opponents of Nazism. They thus tried to destroy the resolution by insisting on including in it their own opponents — enemies of Nazism. A cynical and sophistic move. It would be similar to insisting that a resolution against communism should also include a condemnation of U.S. genocide against the Native people and slavery in the U.S., the latest to be officially abolished in the ‘democratic’ and ‘developed’ world. Or if, in a resolution praising the Allied victory in World War II, someone would insist on condemning the nuclear holocaust of Hiroshima.

“So who is fighting Nazism today? Certainly not the U.S. or Ukraine.”

(Photos: Defending History, I Don’t Like What Stephen Harper Is Doing to Canada)

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For Your Information

2014 Anti-Nazi Resolution at UN Third Committee

TML is posting below the text of Resolution A/C.3/69/L.56/Rev. 1 adopted by the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly November 21, 2014.

***

(Sixty-ninth session of the Third Committee, Agenda item 66 (a))

Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burkina Faso, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, the Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, the Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkmenistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) and Viet Nam: revised draft resolution

Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

The General Assembly,

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,[1] the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,[2] the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination[3] and other relevant human rights instruments,

Recalling the provisions of Commission on Human Rights resolutions 2004/16 of 16 April 2004[4] and 2005/5 of 14 April 2005[5] and relevant Human Rights Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 7/34 of 28 March 2008,[6] 18/15 of 29 September 2011[7] and 21/33 of 28 September 2012,[8] as well as General Assembly resolutions 60/143 of 16 December 2005, 61/147 of 19 December 2006, 62/142 of 18 December 2007, 63/162 of 18 December 2008, 64/147 of 18 December 2009, 65/199 of 21 December 2010, 66/143 of 19 December 2011, 67/154 of 20 December 2012 and 68/150 of 18 December 2013 on this issue and its resolutions 61/149 of 19 December 2006, 62/220 of 22 December 2007, 63/242 of 24 December 2008, 64/148 of 18 December 2009, 65/240 of 24 December 2010, 66/144 of 19 December 2011, 67/155 of 20 December 2012 and 68/151 of 18 December 2013, entitled “Global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action”,

Acknowledging other important initiatives of the General Assembly aimed at raising awareness about the suffering of victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including in the historical perspective, in particular regarding commemoration of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade,

Recalling the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Judgement of the Tribunal, which recognized as criminal, inter alia, the SS organization and all its integral parts, including the Waffen SS, through its officially accepted members implicated in or with knowledge of the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity connected with the Second World War, as well as other relevant provisions of the Charter and the Judgement,

Recalling also the relevant provisions of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance on 8 September 2001,[9] in particular paragraph 2 of the Declaration and paragraph 86 of the Programme of Action, as well as the relevant provisions of the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference of 24 April 2009,[10] in particular paragraphs 11 and 54,

Alarmed, in this regard, at the spread in many parts of the world of various extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups, as well as racist extremist movements and ideologies,

Deeply concerned by all recent manifestations of violence and terrorism incited by violent nationalism, racism, xenophobia and related intolerance,

Recalling that in 2015 the international community will celebrate the seventieth anniversary of victory in the Second World War, and looking forward in this regard to the initiative to hold a special solemn meeting at the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly,

1. Reaffirms the relevant provisions of the Durban Declaration[9] and of the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference,[10] in which States condemned the persistence and resurgence of neo-Nazism, neo-Fascism and violent nationalist ideologies based on racial and national prejudice and stated that those phenomena could never be justified in any instance or in any circumstances;

2. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, prepared in accordance with the request contained in General Assembly resolution 68/150;[11]

3. Expresses its appreciation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and his Office for their efforts to fight racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including the maintenance by the Office of the database on practical means to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

4. Expresses deep concern about the glorification, in any form, of the Nazi movement, neo-Nazism and former members of the Waffen SS organization, including by erecting monuments and memorials and holding public demonstrations in the name of the glorification of the Nazi past, the Nazi movement and neo Nazism, as well as by declaring or attempting to declare such members and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition and collaborated with the Nazi movement participants in national liberation movements;

5. Calls for the universal ratification and effective implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,[3] and encourages those States parties that have not yet done so to consider making the declaration under its article 14, thus providing the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination with the competence to receive and consider communications from individuals or groups of individuals within their jurisdiction claiming to be victims of a violation by a State party of any of the rights set forth in the Convention;

6. Emphasizes the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur that “any commemorative celebration of the Nazi regime, its allies and related organizations, whether official or unofficial, should be prohibited by States,”[12] and stresses in this regard that it is important that States take measures, in accordance with international human rights law, to counteract any celebration of the Nazi SS organization and all its integral parts, including the Waffen SS;

7. Expresses concern about recurring attempts to desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against Nazism during the Second World War, as well as to unlawfully exhume or remove the remains of such persons, and in this regard urges States to fully comply with their relevant obligations, inter alia, under article 34 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949;[13]

8. Notes with concern the increase in the number of racist incidents worldwide, including the rise of skinhead groups, which have been responsible for many of these incidents, as well as the resurgence of racist and xenophobic violence targeting, inter alia, persons belonging to national, ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities;

9. Reaffirms that such acts may be qualified to fall within the scope of the Convention, that they may not be justified when they fall outside the scope of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association as well as the rights to freedom of expression and that they may fall within the scope of article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights[2] and may be subject to certain restrictions, as set out in articles 19, 21 and 22 of the Covenant;

10. Condemns without reservation any denial or attempt to deny the Holocaust;

11. Welcomes the call of the Special Rapporteur for the active preservation of those Holocaust sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration and forced labour camps and prisons, as well as his encouragement of States to take measures, including legislative, law enforcement and educational measures, to put an end to all forms of Holocaust denial;

12. Calls upon States to continue to take adequate steps, including through national legislation, in accordance with international human rights law, aimed at the prevention of hate speech and incitement to violence against persons belonging to vulnerable groups;

13. Expresses deep concern about attempts at commercial advertising aimed at exploiting the sufferings of the victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Second World War by the Nazi regime;

14. Stresses that the practices described above do injustice to the memory of the countless victims of crimes against humanity committed in the Second World War, in particular those committed by the SS organization and by those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition and collaborated with the Nazi movement, and may negatively influence children and young people, and that failure by States to effectively address such practices is incompatible with the obligations of States Members of the United Nations under its Charter, including those related to the purposes and principles of the Organization;

15. Also stresses that such practices fuel contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and contribute to the spread and multiplication of various extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups, and in this regard calls for increased vigilance;

16. Expresses concern that the human rights and democratic challenges posed by extremist political parties, movements and groups are universal and no country is immune to them;

17. Emphasizes the need to take the measures necessary to put an end to the practices described above, and calls upon States to take more effective measures in accordance with international human rights law to combat those phenomena and extremist movements, which pose a real threat to democratic values;

18. Encourages States to adopt further measures to provide training for the police and other law enforcement bodies on the ideologies of extremist political parties, movements and groups whose advocacy constitutes incitement to racist and xenophobic violence, to strengthen their capacity to address racist and xenophobic crimes, to fulfil their responsibility of bringing to justice the perpetrators of such crimes and to combat impunity;

19. Notes the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur regarding the responsibility of political leaders and parties in relation to messages that incite racial discrimination or xenophobia;

20. Expresses concern that ethnic profiling and police violence against vulnerable groups discourage victims from seeking redress owing to distrust of the legal system, and in this regard encourages States to improve diversity within law enforcement agencies and impose appropriate sanctions against those within the public service found guilty of racially motivated violence or of using hate speech;

21. Recalls the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur to introduce into national criminal law a provision according to which committing an offence with racist or xenophobic motivations or aims constitutes an aggravating circumstance, allowing for enhanced penalties, and encourages those States whose legislation does not contain such provisions to consider that recommendation;

22. Underlines that the roots of extremism are multifaceted and must be addressed through adequate measures such as education, awareness-raising and the promotion of dialogue, and in this regard recommends the increase of measures to raise awareness among young people of the dangers of the ideologies and activities of extremist political parties, movements and groups;

23. Reaffirms, in this regard, the particular importance of all forms of education, including human rights education, as a complement to legislative measures, as outlined by the Special Rapporteur;

24. Emphasizes the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur presented at the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly, in which he emphasized the importance of history classes in teaching the dramatic events and human suffering which arose out of the adoption of ideologies such as Nazism and Fascism;[14]

25. Stresses the importance of other positive measures and initiatives aimed at bringing communities together and providing them with space for genuine dialogue, such as round tables, working groups and seminars, including training seminars for State agents and media professionals, as well as awareness-raising activities, especially those initiated by civil society representatives, which require continued State support;

26. Calls upon States to continue to invest in education, in both conventional and non-conventional curricula, inter alia, in order to transform attitudes and correct ideas of racial hierarchies and superiority promoted by extremist political parties, movements and groups and counter their negative influence;

27. Underlines the positive role that relevant United Nations entities and programmes, in particular the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, can play in the aforementioned areas;

28. Reaffirms article 4 of the Convention, according to which States parties to that instrument condemn all propaganda and all organizations that are based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one colour or ethnic origin, or that attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form, and undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures designed to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, such discrimination and, to that end, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[1] and the rights expressly set forth in article 5 of the Convention, inter alia:

(a) Shall declare an offence punishable by law all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, and incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts against any race or group of persons of another colour or ethnic origin, and also the provision of any assistance to racist activities, including the financing thereof;

(b) Shall declare illegal and prohibit organizations, and organized and all other propaganda activities, that promote and incite racial discrimination, and shall recognize participation in such organizations or activities as an offence punishable by law;

(c) Shall not permit public authorities or public institutions, national or local, to promote or incite racial discrimination;

29. Also reaffirms that, as underlined in paragraph 13 of the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference, any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence should be prohibited by law, that all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, or incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts, shall be declared offences punishable by law, in accordance with the international obligations of States, and that these prohibitions are consistent with freedom of opinion and expression;

30. Recognizes the positive role that the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, as well as full respect for the freedom to seek, receive and impart information, including through the Internet, can play in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

31. Expresses concern about the use of the Internet to propagate racism, racial hatred, xenophobia, racial discrimination and related intolerance, and in this regard calls upon States parties to the Covenant to implement fully articles 19 and 20 thereof, which guarantee the right to freedom of expression and outline the grounds on which the exercise of this right can be legitimately restricted;

32. Recognizes the need to promote the use of new information and communications technologies, including the Internet, to contribute to the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

33. Also recognizes the positive role that the media can play in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, promoting a culture of tolerance and representing the diversity of a multicultural society;

34. Encourages States, civil society and other relevant stakeholders to use all opportunities, including those provided by the Internet and social media, to counter, in accordance with international human rights law, the dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred and to promote the values of equality, non-discrimination, diversity and democracy;

35. Encourages those States that have made reservations to article 4 of the Convention to give serious consideration to withdrawing such reservations as a matter of priority, as stressed by the Special Rapporteur;

36. Notes the importance of strengthening cooperation at the regional and international levels with the aim of countering all manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, in particular regarding issues raised in the present resolution;

37. Stresses the importance of cooperating closely with civil society and international and regional human rights mechanisms in order to counter effectively all manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, as well as extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups, and other similar extremist ideological movements that incite racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

38. Encourages States parties to the Convention to ensure that their legislation incorporates the provisions of the Convention, including those of article 4;

39. Encourages States to adopt the legislation necessary to combat racism while ensuring that the definition of racial discrimination set out therein complies with article 1 of the Convention;

40. Recalls that any legislative or constitutional measures adopted with a view to countering extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups, and similar extremist ideological movements should be in conformity with the relevant international human rights norms, in particular articles 4 and 5 of the Convention and articles 19 to 22 of the Covenant;

41. Also recalls the request of the Commission on Human Rights, in its resolution 2005/5,[5] that the Special Rapporteur continue to reflect on this issue, make relevant recommendations in his future reports and seek and take into account in this regard the views of Governments and non-governmental organizations;

42. Encourages States to consider including in their reports for the universal periodic review and to relevant treaty bodies information on the steps taken to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including with the aim of implementing the provisions of the present resolution;

43. Requests the Special Rapporteur to prepare, for submission to the General Assembly at its seventieth session and to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-ninth session, reports on the implementation of the present resolution, in particular regarding paragraphs 4, 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 24 and 25 above, based on the views collected in accordance with the request of the Commission, as recalled in paragraph 42 above;

44. Expresses its appreciation to those Governments that have provided information to the Special Rapporteur in the course of the preparation of his reports to the General Assembly;

45. Stresses that such information is important for the sharing of experiences and best practices in the fight against extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups, and other extremist ideological movements that incite racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

46. Encourages Governments and non-governmental organizations to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur in the exercise of the tasks outlined in paragraph 42 above;

47. Encourages Governments, non-governmental organizations and relevant actors to disseminate, as widely as possible, information regarding the contents of and the principles outlined in the present resolution, including through the media, but not limited to it;

48. Decides to remain seized of the issue.

Notes

1. Resolution 217 A (III)

2. See Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

3. United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 660, No. 9464.

4. See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 2004, Supplement No. 3 (E/2004/23), Chap. II, sect. A.

5. Ibid., 2005, Supplement No. 3 and corrigenda (E/2005/23 and Corr. 1 and 2), chap II, sect. A.

6. See Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-third Session, Supplement No. 53 (A/63/53), chap. II.

7. Ibid., Sixty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 53A and corrigendum (A66/53/Add. 1 and Corr. 1), chap. II.

8. Ibid., Sixty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 53A (A/66/53/Add. 1), chap. II.

9. See A/CON F.189/12 and Corr. 1, chap. I.

10. See A/CON F.211/8, chap. I.

11. A/69/334.

12. Ibid., para. 75.

13. United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1125, No. 17512.

14. A/64/295, para. 104.

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