Counselor for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 18, 2020
Chair – The United States joins the world community in commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. We honor the valiant contributions and the heroism and sacrifice of allied nations and their service members in the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945. We also join the international community in condemning the glorification of Nazism and all forms of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and intolerance. In fighting against the murderous tyranny of Nazism, the United States also fought for the freedom, dignity and human rights of all – including our steadfast commitment to freedom of expression.
Today, however, the United States must express opposition to this resolution, a document most notable for its thinly veiled attempts to legitimize longstanding Russian disinformation narratives denigrating neighboring nations under 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 widely scorned by the American people. At the same time, we steadfastly defend the constitutional rights of those who exercise their rights to combat intolerance and express strong opposition to the odious Nazi creed and others espousing similar hatreds.
Despite consistently expressing our concerns with the Russian delegation and proposing revisions to protect against unacceptable restrictions on freedom of expression, our recommendations, intended to improve and strengthen this resolution, have been 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 an attempt 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.