Reply to Russia on Recommitting to Holocaust Remembrance, Reaffirming Commitments on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination
As delivered by Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Kate M. Byrnes
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
January 26, 2017
Since the Russian Federation raised our opposition to a UN resolution on Combating the Glorification of Nazism, I would like to state our position and correct any possible misrepresentation.
The United States condemns the glorification of Nazism and all modern forms of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and related intolerance. The United States is an active partner in promoting remembrance of the Holocaust and other genocides worldwide, and continues to lead efforts to bring perpetrators of these and other atrocity crimes to justice. More broadly, we condemn without reservation all forms of religious and ethnic intolerance or hatred at home and around the world.
However, due to the UN resolution’s overly narrow scope and politicized nature, and because it calls for unacceptable limits on the fundamental freedom of expression, the United States could not support it. Given the challenges of the modern world, we regret that this resolution was so narrow in scope. We were also concerned that Russia used this resolution to carry out political attacks against its neighbors.
The United States also strongly disagrees with the resolution’s willingness to curb freedom of expression. While we share concerns over the rise in hate speech around the globe, this resolution’s recommendations to limit freedom of expression, freedom of association, and the right to peaceful assembly contravene the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.