On December 19, the plenary meeting of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York adopted a traditional resolution titled Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The document was co-authored by Russia and 55 other UN member states from across the world. The General Assembly adopted the resolution by a recorded vote of 136 in favour, to 2 against (Ukraine, United States), with 49 abstentions. The text was approved by the UN GA Third Committee in November.
It is significant that the resolution was adopted in the year of the 70th anniversary of the verdicts of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, which tried and passed sentences on the main Nazi criminals, played an exceptional role in the progressive development of contemporary international law and formalised the routing of Nazism.
The resolution expresses deep concern about the glorification of the Nazi movement and former members of the Waffen SS organisation in some countries, including by erecting monuments and memorials and holding public demonstrations, 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.
In light of the “war on memorials” ongoing in some countries, it is important that the resolution denounces the recurring attempts to desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against Nazism during the Second World War.
The resolution also expresses deep concern about the increased number of seats occupied by representatives of extremist parties of a racist or xenophobic character in a number of national and local parliaments, and about the increase in reported cases of racist manifestations during sports events.
The delegations of countries from across the world have invariably supported this initiative, and the growing number of its co-authors is evidence that the international community has not forgotten the tragic events of that war and the horrors of Nazism. Unfortunately, not all countries share this view. The United States and Ukraine voted against this resolution, while the EU delegations and the delegations of several other countries abstained.
We hope that the adoption of this document will send a clear signal to those countries where resolute measures need to be taken without delay against the increased number of attempts to falsify history and glorify Nazis and their accomplices.