Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Remarks to the Press by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia following UNGA vote on the draft resolution on Srebrenica

Vassily Nebenzia: Speaking of the resolution on the genocide in Srebrenica, proposed by a group of initiators, I must tell you that the result of the voting is really shameful for them. If they wanted to achieve something, they did not. What they achieved is a division in the General Assembly. We warned them in advance that the adoption of the resolution would not be by consensus, that it would not be an easy ride, and that it would divide the UN membership. In fact, more countries did not support the resolution than those who voted in favor. The latter are mainly a well group of countries who vote according to the bloc discipline.

Once again, I must say that unfortunately, this adopted resolution does not achieve the goals that the initiators announced initially. They announced that it would serve the purpose of reconciliation in Bosnia and in the Balkans in general. In fact, it just brought more divisions.

I must recognize and acknowledge the bright and very powerful statement by the President of Serbia, Aleksander Vučić, who made it absolutely clear that he understands what lies behind proposing this draft and adopting it. Again, this is not what the co-sponsors of the resolution had announced. This is clearly political reasons.

Today, a few countries mentioned that events that took place in their countries at different periods of time had been much larger in scale than even the ones that happened in the Balkans, for example in Srebrenica. But those events, tragic for them, their memory, and their national positions, were not recognized as genocide. So we do not exclude that some countries may come up with initiatives to fill this remaining gap. There was a resolution of the General Assembly that decided to mark December 9 every year as a day commemorating all the genocides in history. By adopting the resolution today, that [prior] agreement was basically breached.

I said in my explanation of vote that we had a Nuremberg tribunal, but we didn't have any General Assembly resolution condemning Nazi Germany for the genocide and other war crimes that it had committed during World War II against the peoples of the Soviet Union and, for example, against the Serbs who suffered immensely during those times. So I do not exclude any initiative that may follow today's unfortunate adoption of this resolution.