Deputy U.S. Representative for ECOSOC
New York, New York
November 12, 2021
Explanation of Vote at the Third Committee Adoption of the Combating Glorification of Nazism, Neo-Nazism and other Practices that Contribute to Fueling Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance Resolution
Chair – As we mark the end of World War I with Armistice Day, the United States also joins the world community in commemorating the valiant sacrifice, heroism, and years-long struggle of all allied nations in the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 to end the Second World War. The United States joins those in the international community in condemning the glorification of Nazism and all forms of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and intolerance. In fighting against the murderous ideology of Nazism, the United States fought for the freedom, dignity and human rights of all individuals and our steadfast commitment to preserving and protecting fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression.
Today, however, the United States must once again express opposition to this resolution, a document most notable for its thinly veiled attempts to legitimize Russian disinformation campaigns denigrating neighboring nations and promoting the distorted Soviet narrative of much of contemporary European history, using the cynical guise of halting Nazi glorification.
The United States Supreme Court has consistently affirmed the constitutional right to freedom of speech and the rights of peaceful assembly and association, including by avowed Nazis, whose hatred and xenophobia are vile and widely scorned by the American people. We nevertheless firmly defend the constitutional rights of those who exercise their fundamental freedoms to combat intolerance and express strong opposition to the odious Nazi creed and others that espouse similar hatreds.
We have again attempted this year to improve this resolution by engaging in negotiations on the draft text. Despite consistently expressing our concerns with the Russian delegation and proposing revisions to improve the text and protect against unacceptable restrictions on freedom of expression, most of these recommendations were ignored. We discourage States from invoking Article 4 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in order to either silence unwelcome opinions or to excuse their failure to combat intolerance.
For these reasons, the United States has voted against each new version of this resolution since 2005 and is, again, compelled to vote “No” on this resolution, and calls on other States to do the same.