Statement Introducing an Amendment to the Russian-sponsored Resolution L.56 on “Combating Glorification of Nazism”

Ambassador Kelley Currie
U.S. Representative for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 16, 2017

AS DELIVERED

Mr. Chair, the United States does not need to defend our position against Nazism. History is proof and the record is clear. The “Greatest Generation” of American blood was spilt on foreign soil fighting the Nazi regime and liberating many of the Member States with us today. The Nazis’ worst fear and greatest enemy was the United States and Allied Forces. While the Nazis stood for tyranny, oppression, and genocide, we stood for freedom, liberty, and humanity. A resolution that condemns Nazism should honor that truth.

Instead, this resolution is a cynical exercise, born from a political controversy decades removed from the defeat of the Nazis. This resolution is an annual power play by one nation over its sovereign neighbors. It attempts to exert a sphere of influence over a region and strives to criminalize free speech and expression without any genuine effort to effectively combat actual Nazism, discrimination, or anti-Semitism.

The United States is disgusted by the glorification and promotion of Nazi ideology. We fought a war against it, and we will continue fighting it in the hearts and minds of those who hate. The solution to hate is not censorship – it is the freedom for goodness and justice to triumph over evil and persecution. The United States continues to take great strides to remember and memorialize victims of the Holocaust and supports the UN’s efforts to do the same. Just last evening, Ambassador Haley spoke at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on this important topic.

Since this resolution was first introduced in 2005, the United States has expressed its concerns about this resolution, each year calling for a vote, voting against the resolution, and explaining why.

This year, we are doing things differently – we are proposing an amendment that addresses every part of the resolution that violates individual freedoms of speech, thought, expression, and association. Therefore, if this amendment is adopted, the free speech concerns in the resolution would be removed.

Let me be clear: this amendment does not fix every problem, but it simply addresses the free speech issues that so glaringly make this resolution a reprehensible redline for the United States and for others.

The proposals in our amendment we introduce today will not make this a perfect resolution by any means. However, this amendment will remove the overtly problematic portions of the resolution, which violate the principles of freedom of expression and which inappropriately misstate historical fact. We urge all delegations to vote in favor of this amendment.

Thank you.

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