Explanation of Vote on 71st UN General Assembly Third Committee Item “Combating Glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”

Stefanie Amadeo
U.S. Deputy Representative to ECOSOC
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
November 17, 2016


Thank you, Madam Chair.

As in years past, 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 this resolution’s overly narrow scope and politicized nature, and because it calls for unacceptable limits on the fundamental freedom of expression, the United States cannot support it. Given the challenges of the modern world, we regret that this resolution continues to be so narrow in scope. We also continue to be concerned that Russia is using 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  and must be opposed. Similarly, we encourage states to refrain from invoking Article 4 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to limit freedom of expression or as an excuse for failing to take effective measures to combat intolerance in its many forms. 

The United States will vote No on this resolution and calls on other states to do the same.