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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

Mr. Chairman,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidates Countries the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Croatia, the Stabilisation and Association Process Countries of Albania, Serbia and Montenegro as well as the Republic of Moldova and Georgia also align themselves with this statement.

As this draft comes to action, the European Union would like to reiterate its strong commitment to the global fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

We believe that Neo-Nazism is a particularly abhorrent manifestation of racism and xenophobia that must be combated firmly by all of us. It still exists, unfortunately, in many of our societies, including within the EU and in some of the main sponsors of this resolution, as pointed out by the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in his latest report. The threat of neo-Nazism needs to be tackled within comprehensive efforts to eliminate all forms of racism and xenophobia by effective measures at the national, regional and international level, including through the full implementation of the ICERD and of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

The ideas that neo-Nazism tries to undermine, namely that all men and women are born free and equal in dignity and in rights, are in the core of what the United Nations stands for. The combat against neo-Nazism, as well as other manifestations of racism and xenophobia, must therefore be a common and consensual priority for all of us. It should not be used for extraneous purposes, thereby diluting the significance of these issues, but, quite the opposite, serve to unite us all in our common goal of eliminating racism from our societies.

For these reasons, the EU participated actively in the informal consultations with the main sponsors of this draft resolution in order to find ways to ensure it would present a real and serious response to contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. We acknowledge the willingness of the main sponsors to negotiate and address some of the concerns expressed by the EU and other delegations. However, most of the reasons that have previously led to the EU not to be able to support this initiative in the past still remain:

    – Instead of comprehensively addressing the human rights concerns related to racism and racial discrimination, one of the most serious of which is the resurgence of racist and xenophobic violence, as also noted by the Special Rapporteur, the draft resolution continues to have a selective and unsubstantiated focus, disregarding these serious concerns and in effect deflecting attention from them.

    – Additionally, as in previous years, the EU would have liked to seen the inaccurate citations of the Judgement of the Nuremberg Tribunal in this text rectified.

Therefore, we have proposed that this draft resolution adopted a more comprehensive, objective and legally appropriate approach that can provide real added value to the global fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
    – Another matter of concern relates to the view taken in this resolution for addressing such practices. The EU fully agrees on the need to combat manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. But, to be effective, this combat must be in line with the provisions of art. 4 and 5 of the ICERD and cannot undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms as defined by international human rights law. This fundamental principle should, in our view, be better reflected in the draft that has been presented to us.
For the reasons explained, Mr. Chairman, the European Union will abstain on the draft resolution on the “Inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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