Duty of Memory

Canada's Shameful Opposition to Clear-Cut UN Resolution Against Glorification of Nazism

The following presentation was made by Youth for Democratic Renewal at the zoom meeting organized by the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) on November 11 under the theme: Canada's Duty of Memory.


On November 3, for the 18th consecutive year, the UN voted on a resolution entitled "Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."The resolution was co-sponsored by the Russian Federation and the Peoples' Republic of China.

Once again Canada, along with Ukraine, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and other EU countries were among those that voted against. Despite their opposition, the United Nations once again adopted the resolution by a vote of 112 in favour, with 50 against and 14 abstaining. The resolution was thus adopted by the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly which deals with social, humanitarian and human rights issues.

Once again, Canada did its utmost to derail the resolution on the basis of its anti-communist mentality which has imbued its domestic and foreign policy since Soviet communists had the temerity to overthrow the rule of private property in Russia in 1917 and establish Soviet Power. Canada's delegate declared that the resolution was "problematic" because "it did not reflect contemporary forms of racism and address issues around freedom of expression." Even as the entire world rises up to oppose the most egregious example of racism taking place in the genocidal Israeli attacks against the people of Palestine which Canada supports, Canada continues to declare that its definition of racism is the correct one. This is a convoluted attempt to say that any opposition to Israel, Zionism or the occupation of Palestine is racism, anti-Semitism, promotion of hatred and terrorism and against Canadian values. 

Even as Canada suppresses and persecutes those who do not repeat the official line of the Canadian state in support of Israel's crimes, Canada continues to declare that it is the champion of freedom of expression. It is both arrogant and irrational at one and the same time. It is beyond pathetic that Canada sees some merit in standing against the tide of our humanity which is calling a spade a spade and from the depth of its very soul is declaring Never Again!, abiding by its duty of memory which means the crimes of genocide and ethnic cleansing and crimes of humanity witnessed in World War II must never be repeated.

Canada's shameful claim to fame worldwide is to parade the white man's colonial superiority which emerged in 19th century Victorian England to proclaim the allegedly civilized values of the master race as represented by the British Empire and duty to King and Country. In Canada, the euphoria about the supremacy of the British Empire died with the carnage of World War I but still Canada sees fit to promote its values in the 21st century. Prior to World War I, the promotion of the values of Empire assumed legendary proportions in Canada. It was considered a positive force which set the standards for citizenship and immigration, women's suffrage and success, temperance, industry and, of course, duty. The values of Empire were to unify the Empire and provide the King's dominions with order. All perspectives were limited to that and no other was to be entertained. On the contrary, other perspectives were silenced, denigrated and persecuted. 

For Canada to be trying to achieve the same thing on the basis of the same values in the 21st century is a lost cause which is what the current outpouring of support for Palestine is showing. It is a veritable turning point in history and we are all part of making sure it favours the peoples of the world. In that sense, all of us are making history and this is really important to remember as we get up to face every day with courage and conviction.

At the UN, Canada's delegate went on to join the U.S. in objecting to the text of the resolution put forward by the Russian Federation alleging Russia's use of "neo-Nazism" was a pretext to justify its illegal territorial aggression in Ukraine. Calling it a "false narrative," the argument was that it undermines genuine attempts to combat it.

In his remarks in support of the resolution at the UN, Russian diplomat Grigory Lukyantsev noted that marches of neo-Nazis and torchlight processions in honour of those who actively worked with the Nazis and were accomplices in their crimes are taking place on the streets of cities in the centre of Europe. Is this the "freedom of expression" Canada claims to uphold? he asked.

Canada's delegate should explain how the elimination of neo-Nazis, which is a stated objective of Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine is a "false narrative," while Canada's military training of open neo-Nazi organizations like Azov and others in Ukraine, who proclaim themselves the inheritors of the fascist mantel of the likes of Stepan Bandera, is for the higher ideal of guaranteeing their "freedom of expression"!

What Canada's antics at the UN show is that the standing ovations recently given a Waffen-SS veteran by the Canadian Parliament, was no "mistake."

The General Assembly has been adopting this resolution since 2005. Russia introduced the motion saying the world is witnessing, inter alia, the rise in Islamophobia, Christianphobia and anti-Semitism. Some countries have started waging a war on memorials that were established to glorify those who fought Nazism adding that "the approval of this document is not only our duty to those who created the UN, it is our duty to future generations."

As adopted, the resolution calls on the Assembly to express alarm at the spread in many parts of the world of various extremist political parties, ideologies and groups of a racist or xenophobic character, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups.

Furthermore, the Assembly would firmly condemn incidents that glorify and promote Nazism, such as acts involving pro-Nazi graffiti and paintings, including on monuments dedicated to victims of the Second World War. (Canada with its monument in Ottawa to victims of communism would certainly have a problem in that regard.)

The resolution also reaffirms the Assembly's condemnation of any denial of the Holocaust, as well as any manifestation of religious intolerance or violence against persons or communities on the basis of ethnic origin or religious belief.

Earlier in the day, an unfriendly amendment was proposed by Albania, Australia, Japan, Guatemala, Liberia, the Marshall Islands and North Macedonia. The amendment gave expression to the "false narrative" argument previously made by the U.S. and Canada. It accused Russia of "justifying" its "aggression against Ukraine" on "the purported basis of eliminating neo-Nazism" and states that it "seriously undermines genuine attempts to combat neo-Nazism." The amendment was adopted in a 66-26 vote, with 67 abstaining.

It is noteworthy that even after succeeding in having the original motion amended this way, to condemn Russia, those who voted for the amendment still opposed adoption of the resolution as a whole. Cuba in particular called these countries out saying that none of those who voted in favour of the amendment voted in favour of the text as amended. Cuba's representative said his delegation does not agree with the included operative paragraph amendment.

Malaysia called out the farce of those who endorsed the amendment, including Israel, as the most egregious perpetrators of racism and xenophobia, saying: "There is a country abusing a term associated with a specific dark period of history to indiscriminately attack an entire population, causing the deaths of mostly women and children." Malaysia's delegate stressed his delegation disassociated from the amended operative paragraph 4 because it shifted the focus from a thematic resolution to one targeting specific countries.

China's representative emphasized that the resolution was thematic in nature. China regretted the imposition of country-specific content into the resolution. Referring to Japan, it added that it is ironic that among the sponsors of the amendment was a country that falsified the history of the Second World War by refusing to admit to its war crimes, including massive crimes of sexual violence. China, while voting in favour of the resolution, also disassociated from the amendment.

Many other countries besides Cuba did the same, including the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Senegal, Nigeria and others. They voted to adopt the motion condemning the Glorification of Nazism, even as amended, while disassociating from the hostile provocative amendment.

In conclusion, while on the world scale matters appear more complicated than ever, they are in fact getting simpler. This is because the peoples of the world are speaking in their own names, debunking the positions which conciliate with the arguments originally put forward by the Hitlerites during World War II. The peoples of the world already rendered their verdict on the crimes of the Nazis at that time and they have no tolerance for their repetition today.

This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 25 - November 2023

Article Link:


Website:  www.cpcml.ca   Email:  editor@cpcml.ca