Did France vote with Ukraine against a UN resolution condemning Nazism? – Liberation

Question by Charles on November 5th

You ask us for a vote held on Friday 4 November in the United Nations (UN) on a draft resolution on the “To combat the exaltation of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”.

He asks us if it is correct that France, Ukraine or even the United States voted against this text, as stated in particular by François Asselineau, founder of the UPR (pro-Frexit political party), and Charles-Henri Galloispresident of the Generation Frexit movement.

We voted on the draft resolution bearing the number L.5, examined during the 77th session of the Third Committee, responsible for social, humanitarian and cultural issues within the United Nations General Assembly. This resolution was first wanted by Russia, but also adopted by many of its allies such as Cuba, Pakistan or Venezuela (16 states in all). “On the basis of this draft resolution presented by the Russian Federation and adopted with 105 votes in favor, 52 against and 15 abstentions, the General Assembly would express its deep concern for the glorification, in any form, of the Nazi movement, neo-Nazism and former members of the Waffen-SS organization “, summarize the United Nations on their site.

“Height of hypocrisy”

We recall that the resolutions of the General Assembly of the United Nations – unlike those voted by the Security Council – are texts whose purpose is only a declaration of intent, without a legally binding character. However, they retain a strong symbolic value and can serve as an argument for governments in their international action.

Among the 52 votes against are those of France, as well as the other 26 member countries of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and even Japan. The Third Committee debates were broadcast, in English, on United Nations Web TV (speeches by state representatives begin at 1:32:44, before voting opens at 1:48:52).

Listening to the diplomats, we better understand the reasons that led some countries to vote against the Russian draft resolution. The Ukrainian delegation to the United Nations saw this as the “height of hypocrisy”, believing “that this draft text has nothing to do with the title of the resolution, but is, on the contrary, a pretext used by Russia to justify its brutal war against its country and the abject crimes committed against humanity”, details the United Nations website. “Canada and the United States, for their part, have expressed their opposition to this draft resolution which, according to them, aims to legitimize a discourse based on disinformation. They have been supported by Japan and the UK, with the latter finding that the “Putin regime” is carrying out the most devastating acts, similar to some of the worst regimes of the 20th century. […] Croatia said it voted against this text “for the first time in ten years”. In turn, Slovenia expressed its rejection of the approach defended by the text, as did Iceland, which, on behalf of a group of countries, rejected an “exploitation” intended to justify aggression against a sovereign country. .

A similar resolution every year since 2005

The delegation representing the European Union also issued a press release to explain the reasons justifying the opposition of its member states to this resolution. This press release first reviews the context of the vote on the resolution: “Today, under the pretext of fighting Nazism, Russia has brought the horrors of war back to Europe, reminding us that peace cannot be taken for granted. We strongly condemn the misuse of the anti-Nazi argument and reject Russia’s imprecise and inappropriate use of the term “denazification” to justify its war of inhuman, cruel and illegal aggression against Ukraine. “ So he states that the EU position, which “For years it has argued that the fight against extremism and the condemnation of the despicable ideology of Nazism are not hijacked and co-opted for political purposes that seek to justify further violations and abuses of human rights”, forced him to vote against.

If, therefore, opposition to this resolution has increased in the context of the war unleashed by Russia in Ukraine, in reality it is nothing new. As mentioned CheckNews in an article published in March, Russia tirelessly submits resolutions to the same object to the vote of the 193 members of the UN General Assembly, every year since 2005. The text initially aimed to proclaim the “Unacceptability of some practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”, and only in 2012 the conviction of “glorification of Nazism” appeared in its title.

Australia’s “concern” for the Russian text

In our article of March, we have already pointed out, with the analyzes in support of historians and specialists of the Slavic world, that the presentation of draft resolutions to the vote of the United Nations is at the center of a “war of memory” between Russia and the former states of the Soviet Union, in which the Russian authorities are trying to give themselves the best role. Therefore, these texts would carry a rhetoric that puts all opponents of Stalinism on the side of the collaborators of Nazism. At the same time, since 2013, the content of the resolutions has become more coercive, urging states to adopt “Measures to combat any demonstration organized for the glory of the SS organization and any of its components”. A formulation such as to justify that Russia, in the name of the values ​​defended by the United Nations, enter into conflict with its neighbors, both Ukraine and the Baltic states.

The United States was the only country to consistently vote against each of these resolutions. In 2014, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, they were joined by Ukraine. Until then, the European Union, including France, preferred to abstain. Its member states had only voted against it in 2011. From time to time, the American line was also followed by other members of the United Nations, such as Canada between 2011 and 2015, but also Japan in 2005 and 2006. .

It should be noted that in addition to pronouncing themselves against the text, the States have tried this year to modify its content. Therefore, before the vote on the draft resolution as a whole, Australia (supported by Japan, Liberia and North Macedonia) tabled a draft amendment, called “A /C.3 / 77 / L .52”, seeking to add a paragraph in the text according to which the General Assembly of the United Nations “Notes with concern that the Russian Federation has tried to justify its territorial aggression against Ukraine by calling for the elimination of neo-Nazism and stresses that invoking neo-Nazism as a pretext to justify territorial aggression seriously undermines the measures taken to effectively combat this scourge “. The draft amendment was finally approved with 63 votes in favor, 23 against and 65 abstentions.

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