UNITED NATIONS, November 18 (Itar-Tass) — “Any attempts to revise the history of the Second World War, the Nuremberg decisions, to whitewash former Nazis should be regarded as actions that violate the UN Charter and the principles on which it was created.” This idea runs through a draft resolution initiated by Russia on “inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.” On Thursday, the UN General Assembly passed the draft resolution. The Russian draft in the Third Committee of the UN GA was supported by 120 States, 22, including the Baltic countries, voted against and 31 states abstained. Compared to last year, the number of co-authors of the resolution increased from 31 to 37 countries.
According to a UN press release, introducing the draft, the representative of the Russian Federation said the lessons of the Second World War were being negated by those who called for a recorded vote on the text. He noted some delegations had been seeking to convince the world that the spread of racism could not be combated by criminal prosecutions, and said such actions were disrespectful of veterans of the Second World War and lent support to those glorifying Nazism.
“Today we are increasingly confronted with situations where monuments to the Nazis are opened in a solemn atmosphere, the days of liberation from the Nazis are declared days of mourning, and those who are opposed to passing into oblivion the memory of those who fought in World War II against the Nazis, are subjected to arrests,” representative of the Russian Federation Grigory Lukyantsev said before the vote. “Moreover, in some countries they are trying hard to raise to the rank of national heroes and the heroes of the national liberation movement those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition or collaborated with the Nazis.” According to the Russian representative, it is “not about political correctness, but very frank and cynical blasphemy towards those who liberated the world from the horrors of National Socialism.” Moreover, Lukyantsev stressed, it is about criminal acts within the meaning of Article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
The Russian representative dismissed as absolutely bankrupt attempts at convincing the world opinion that the victory in World War II, they say, has nothing to do with the universal human rights standards, that the glorification of Nazism and its ideas has nothing to do with human rights, that Nazi marches, glorification of Nazism, the building memorials to those who destroyed tens of millions of innocent victims for their own theory of “racial superiority” is nothing but the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association.
Lukyantsev advised the authors of such statements to “read once again the UN Charter, the human rights provisions of which are a direct response to the horrors of World War II and to the horrific crimes committed by the Nazi regime.” “Let’s not forget about what has been worked out in suffering and written in blood in the literal sense of the word,” the representative of the Russian Federation stressed.
The Social, Humanitarian Cultural Affairs Commitee (Third Committee) of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly, is chaired by H.E. Mr. Hussein Haniff of Malaysia. The General Assembly allocates to its Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee, commonly referred to as the “Third Committee,” agenda items relating to a range of social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues that affect people all over the world, according to the UN website.
As in previous sessions, an important part of the work of the Committee will focus on the examination of human rights questions, including reports of the special procedures of the Human Rights Council which was established in 2006. In October 2011, the Committee will hear and interact with 34 such special rapporteurs, independent experts, and chairs of working groups of the Human Rights Council.
The Committee also discusses the advancement of women, the protection of children, indigenous issues, the treatment of refugees, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and the right to self- determination. The Committee also addresses important social development questions such as issues related to youth, family, ageing, persons with disabilities, crime prevention, criminal justice, and international drug control.
At the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly, the Third Committee considered 56 draft resolutions, more than half of which were submitted under the human rights agenda item alone. These included three so-called country-specific resolutions on human rights situations. Under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Hussein Haniff, the Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations, the Third Committee is expected to consider a similar number of draft resolutions.