Russia will continue to fight Nazism

Ambassador's view
Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister (2005-2011). Follow him on Twitter @Amb_Yakovenko
A man dressed in a pre-WWII Latvian military uniform salutes as veterans of the Latvian Legion walk to the Monument of Freedom in Riga, Latvia on March 16, 2016. © Ilmars Znotins
Russia will continue to put forward at the UN General Assembly its draft resolution on “Combating glorification of Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

It is a traditional initiative from Russia which is widely supported by United Nations member-states with a growing number of countries co-sponsoring the resolution every year.

Last year marked the 70th anniversary of the victory in WWII. Out of that tragedy were born the United Nations and the present system of promotion and protection of human rights. The establishment of the UN exemplifies the response of the Allies to the evil of Nazism. Our initiative is driven by deep concern over the spread of various extremist groups, in particular neo-Nazis who resort to violence against people of other ethnicities and religions. Their "inspiration" often comes from ideologies and practices the UN was created to fight against.

In a number of countries, public events aimed at the glorification of the Nazi movement and neo-Nazis continue to be held, former members of the Waffen SS glorified, and monuments and memorials in their honour erected. Attempts have been made to declare those who fought against the Allies or collaborated with Nazi Germany as national heroes. All of this is sacrilegious and an insult to those who fought to free the world from Nazism.

We believe that appropriate measures to counter these trends should be taken both at the national and international levels. Russia's initiative is aimed at fostering dialogue and cooperation among states on this pressing issue. It is in line with the existing international instruments, in particular the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

We believe that the broadest possible support for this resolution would send a clear message that contemporary manifestations of racism and xenophobia are unacceptable. We hope that the UK and other EU member-states will review their position and this year will support our initiative by joining as co-sponsors.

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