Iceland was amongst 51 countries that abstained from voting on a resolution, put forward to the United Nations by 24 countries, which condemns Nazism and other far-right ideologies, calls upon nations to fight against racial discrimination, and expresses concern over increased activity from far-right groups. Two countries—the United States and Ukraine—voted against the resolution.
130 countries voted in favour. As a simple majority is all that is needed to pass a UN resolution, these are more than enough votes for passage. UN resolutions are non-binding, unless pertaining to internal matters.
Political reasons may play a part in the number of abstentions. The 24 countries who submitted the resolution include Russia and, as RÚV points out, the United States cited frustrations in dealing with Russia in their written explanation for their vote against the resolution when it was submitted last year.
In that explanation of their No-vote, the US furthermore accused Russia of “thinly veiled attempts to legitimize longstanding Russian disinformation narratives smearing neighboring nations under the cynical guise of halting Nazi glorification,” while at the same time the US also maintained their commitment to “freedom of expression”.
Furthermore, a good number of socialist countries stood behind the submitting of the resolution, while countries such as Germany, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and the UK abstained, potentially underlining the political rift over the votes on the resolution.
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