In a unanimous vote, the United Nations General Assembly has for the second time passed a resolution condemning Holocaust denial.
The resolution, coauthored by 71 countries including Israel, the United States and Germany, passed without opposition or abstentions on Thursday, the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference. That was the 1942 meeting in which Nazi leaders decided on the “final solution to the Jewish question,” a euphemism for the systematic annihilation of European Jewry.
The General Assembly “rejects and condemns without any reservation any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part” and “urges all Member States to reject without any reservation any denial or distortion of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, or any activities to this end,” the resolution states.
The resolution is similar to a 2007 resolution passed by the General Assembly, but goes further in that it offers a definition of Holocaust denial as a actions that refer “specifically to any attempt to claim that the Holocaust did not take place, and may include publicly denying or calling into doubt the use of principal mechanisms of destruction (such as gas chambers, mass shooting, starvation, and torture) or the intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people.”
The Iranian delegation, whose government sponsors competitions for caricatures ridiculing, denying and downplaying the Holocaust, said it was disassociating itself from the text, according to the BBC. But the Islamic Republic could not vote against it in the General Assembly because its voting privileges have been suspended due to it not having paid membership fees on time, the Times of Israel reported. This allowed the vote to pass unanimously.
The resolution began as an effort by the Israeli delegation to the U.N. headed by Israel’s ambassador to the organization, Gilad Erdan, the Times of Israel reported, before it was formally submitted as a joint draft by 71 countries.