U.S. Deputy Representative to the Economic and Social Council
New York, New York
November 4, 2022
Thank you, Chair.
The United States once again expresses concern and opposition to this resolution, a document most notable for its thinly veiled attempts to legitimize longstanding Russian disinformation narratives smearing neighboring nations under the cynical guise of halting Nazi glorification.
The United States is proud to have fought with our World War II allies, including the Soviet Union, and to have made decisive contributions to the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. We categorically condemn the glorification of Nazism and all modern forms of violent extremism, antisemitism, racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and related intolerance.
That said, the United States continues to oppose the Russian Federation’s use of the UN system to spread disinformation. This resolution is a cynical attempt at best by Russia to further its contemporary geopolitical aims by invoking the Holocaust and the Second World War to malign other countries. This is all the more egregious now, when Russia uses false accusations of Nazism to try to justify its unconscionable ongoing violence against the people of Ukraine.
The Russian Federation’s resolution is not a serious effort to combat Nazism, antisemitism, racism, or xenophobia — all of which are abhorrent and unacceptable. Instead, this resolution is a shameful political ploy. It is a thinly veiled effort to justify Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.
We fully support the amendments presented today, which re-introduced into this resolution the report by the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism. The report “Notes with alarm that the Russian Federation has sought to justify its territorial aggression against Ukraine on the purported basis of eliminating neo-Nazism and underlines that the pretextual use of neo-Nazism to justify territorial aggression seriously undermines genuine attempts to combat neo-Nazism.” The evidence is clear and was reaffirmed by the amendments passing.
Despite the amendments passing, we continue to have serious concerns with this resolution’s invocation of 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 to justify restrictions on freedom of expression.
We also take this opportunity to note our concerns regarding the process by which this resolution was run. The Russian Federation failed to provide any opportunity for Member States to engage meaningfully in negotiations on the draft text this year. It canceled two of the three informal negotiations and held only one meeting to take concerns on board, which it did not do. This resolution has had a long history of sham negotiations and pitiful attempts to appear to run a transparent process. Even with the restoration of the SR’s report, the Russian Federation skirted procedure and did it from the floor this morning instead of through the L document.
For these reasons, the United States will continue to vote “No” on this resolution, as it has since 2005, and calls on other States to do the same.
In closing, the United States calls on the Russian Federation to cease its use of force against Ukraine immediately, withdraw its forces from all of Ukraine’s territory, refrain from any further unlawful threat or use of force against any other Member State, and — finally — drop the false narrative by which it has been exploiting one of history’s darkest moments to further its cynical aims. As my Ambassador said in the General Assembly, today it is Russia invading Ukraine, but tomorrow it could be another nation whose territorial integrity is violated. It could be you. You could be next.