Action in Third Committee, 4 November 2022
Explanation of vote after the vote on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries
Delivered by H.E. Jörundur Valtýsson, Permanent Representative of Iceland
I deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries.
Let me begin by reaffirming that the Nordic-Baltic countries unequivocally condemn racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of racial intolerance, including Nazism and neo-Nazism. We are fully committed to the global fight against any form of these ideologies. We want our societies to be open, democratic and diverse. We celebrate our diversity and defend it. These are core values to our countries.
It is precisely because of these core values that we are reacting so strongly to the resolution in front of us today. It is a document that, at its core, builds a narrative that is being used as justification for Russia’s 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 to justify a full-scale invasion and attempted annexation of a sovereign country, in blatant violation of international law, and the very principles of the UN Charter.
These misappropriations further undermine the genuine fight against these heinous ideologies.
This is why the Nordic and Baltic countries voted in favor of the amendments presented by a number of countries, in order to partially redress the utter lack of this context in the draft as it was presented.
Even with the amendment passed, we are still deeply concerned, not only with the content of the resolution, but also with the abhorrent context in which the resolution is being presented today. It is not acceptable to us that the penholder has been using this same narrative and the resolution itself as an instrument of justification for illegal and unprovoked aggression against another sovereign Member State. We reject this and this is why all eight Nordic-Baltic countries voted against the resolution as a whole.
A resolution on such an important topic deserves an inclusive approach, whereas Russia has for years not engaged transparently and failed at taking the concerns of other Member States into account.
We call on Russia to give up its role of presenting this resolution. In the future, we must be able to engage in honest conversation about this very relevant topic, and not have it misappropriated as a cover for aggression against another state.
It is therefore inevitable that we have reached the conclusion of voting against the resolution as a whole - while we reiterate our full support for combating the racist ideologies it is meant to address.
I thank you.