Statement delivered by H.E. Anna-Karin Eneström, Permanent Representative of Sweden
I deliver this statement on behalf of the eight Nordic and Baltic countries.
Let me begin by being very clear:
The Nordic-Baltic countries are unequivocal in our condemnation of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of racial intolerance, including Nazism and neo-Nazism.
We are fully committed to the global fight against all forms of these abhorrent ideologies and their manifestations.
We want our societies to be open, democratic and diverse.
We celebrate our diversity and we defend it. These are core values to our countries.
It is precisely because of these core values that we react so strongly to the resolution in front of us today. Because even though there is some important and valid language on the fight against racism in the text, this is a document that, at its core, has a more sinister context.
Unfortunately and regrettably, it is part of building a narrative that is also used to justify the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, under the cynical slogan of “de-Nazification”.
We categorically reject this false narrative and the way in which eliminating neo-Nazism is being used as pretext for a full-scale invasion and attempted annexation of a sovereign neighboring country.
We strongly believe that this misuse undermines the genuine fight against these heinous ideologies.
This is why all Nordic and Baltic countries voted in favor of the amendment today. We did it in order to, at least partially, redress the utter lack of this context in the draft as it was presented.
Even with the amendment passed, our fundamental problems with the resolution still stand.
The resolution contains highly politicized and problematic language that has been used by Russia to accuse sovereign states that were occupied by the Soviet Union of “glorifying Nazism”.
A resolution on such an important topic deserves an inclusive approach. Instead, Russia has consistently avoided to engage seriously with us on this resolution and have failed at taking the concerns of other Member States into account. This year, the draft was submitted even before this Committee began its meetings. The only so-called consultation was to present the text as a fait-accompli.
If there is no interest in having an open and fair process, we call on Russia to give up its role in it. In the future, we must be able to engage in an honest conversation about this very relevant topic, and not have it misappropriated for aggression.
For all these reasons, the Nordic-Baltic countries also voted against the resolution as a whole.
I want to end where I started – and with a plea to colleagues to not misunderstand our vote today. The Nordic-Baltic countries stand ready to work side-by-side with all serious partners in the critical fight against racist and xenophobic ideologies.
Let us do so in partnership.
And let us do so in an open, transparent manner. And in good faith.
I thank you.