Jacinda Ardern’s government has abstained in a vote against Nazism in the United Nations.
The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution condemning Nazism, neo-Nazism and all forms of racism, which was co-sponsored by Russia. The US and Ukraine again voted against it, while 49 countries, mainly US allies, including New Zealand abstained.
The resolution on “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices” that contribute to racism, xenophobia and intolerance was adopted with 130 votes in favor, the Russian permanent mission to the UN announced on Thursday. Moscow has submitted the motion annually, in recent years, and Washington and Kiev have consistently opposed.
#UNGA76 adopted ????????-initiated resolution "Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of #racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related #intolerance" with 130 votes in favor, 2 against, 49 abstentions. pic.twitter.com/wC63bhKqrj
— Russian Mission UN (@RussiaUN) December 16, 2021
Sponsored by Russia and more than 30 other UN members, the resolution expresses concern about any form of glorifying Nazism, including putting up monuments and holding public parades honoring the Waffen SS – combat units within Nazi Germany’s military – or declaring them national liberation movements, among other things.
Moscow has long taken issue with Ukraine and the three Baltic states – Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia – honoring individuals and organizations affiliated with Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
Last year, Washington’s envoy to the UN argued that a ban on glorifying Nazism would clash with the First Amendment protection of free speech in the US Constitution. The US has also accused Moscow of using the resolution to push “disinformation narratives” about neo-Nazism in the Baltic states and Ukraine.
The resolution also urges member states to “eliminate all forms of racial discrimination by all appropriate means, including legislation,” and states that discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion or belief such as “neo-Nazism, Islamophobia, Christianophobia and antisemitism” harms not just the targeted groups but the society in general.