14 November 2019
SUBMITTED TO: Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee
FROM: Russian Federation
SUBJECT: Combating Racism and Xenophobia
The international community has seen, through past global action and inaction, how increasing tolerance of xenophobic attitudes can lead to dire, resounding consequences. However, the Russian Federation sees the rate at which racist and xenophobic intolerance is turning into a means of political struggle as especially alarming, as it poses a threat to the most basic principles of governance and human rights. The rapid resurfacing of Neo-Nazi ideologies and attempts to rehabilitate theories of racial purity are among the most outrageous manifestations of these trends. In the world today, there are increasing numbers of xenophobic non-state organizations which are indraught of new members and causing a rise in racially, nationally, and ethnically motivated crime. The Russian Federation believes that the states sharing the bulk of responsibility for combating racism and xenophobia must give objective and unbiased assessment of the current situation in order to move towards a solution.
The Russian Federation was faced with a pivotal test of national pride and identity within recent history, as the Soviet Union was restructured and the global economic and political system faced the resounding effects of this process. However, we have always maintained a welcoming immigration policy towards all migrants from republics which have emerged from the former Soviet states. While other states have closed their borders in xenophobic outrage, we have been able to combat the emergence of xenophobic ideals before they have been able to gain traction within popular forms of government. The most prominent sources of xenophobic behavior which match the definitions of active hatred and fear come from the same extremists who look to promote ideas contrary to that of the sovereignty of the Russian state. Gatherings by nationalist extremist parties aimed at delegitimizing the protections of all races and nationalities under the Russian government have become breeding grounds for racist and xenophobic sentiments. It should be a key job of this committee to determine how to combat the prevalence of xenophobia perpetrated by non-state actors.
Furthermore, we must eliminate the broad stereotyping perpetrated by the west that looks down upon all nations that uphold their sovereign affairs against the threat of exploitation. If this committee is to achieve anything from its work, all states must fulfill their obligation to assess the behaviors of their own populations and determine ways in which these are spurred by the rapid growth of migration and globalization in the world today. With that said, the Russian Federation asks this committee a few questions on how we will determine censorship of xenophobic ideals in the face of western thought on pluralistic discourse. How does this committee define what qualifies as “freedom of speech” versus ideologies of hatred? How can we bridge the divide of xenophobic, racist sentiments dismissed as being hidden under a veil of freedom and pluralism of opinion?
A large part of Russian policy in combating the emergence of hateful ideologies and racist sentiments has been the support of legislation aimed at preventing the resurfacing of Nazism and other ideologies that are used to commit heinous crimes. The Russian Federation looks to implement these ideals within the international community, but recognizes that each individual state has its own best policies for how to combat this diverse issue. However, Russia firmly believes that it is necessary for all states within this committee to develop united positions of condemning and rejecting racism in order to send a clear signal. One of the most fundamental issues within this debate, that has led a simple solutions to have increasingly complex nuances, is the appearance of racist tendencies in everyday life on the domestic level in a variety of nations. Ideas that started at the individual home level have spread into greater patterns within societies. It is not enough for this committee to simply denounce racism, but rather each state must take steps as its own entity to adopt anti-discriminatory legislation. The Russian Federation cannot accept a resolution that does not confront the implementation of anti-xenophobic policy on a state-by-state level.
In 2011, the global community marked the 10th anniversary of the World Conference against Racism (WCAR) which took place in 2001 in Durban, South Africa. We attach great significance to the Durban Conference and the 2009 Geneva Review Conference and their respective final documents. Russia will continue to take an active role in UN activities aimed at combating racism and its contemporary manifestations. Undoubtedly, the most important task of this body is to develop a clear strategy for joint efforts to implement the outcome document of the Durban conference. The Russian Federation looks forward to helping to enforce the ideals of tolerance while not letting hypocritical assumptions of “free speech” protect the spread of dangerous racist and xenophobic thought.
- Hannah Ziegler