The UN General Assembly approved an Israeli-sponsored resolution Thursday condemning any denial of the Holocaust and urging all nations and social media companies "to take active measures to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial or distortion."
The 193-member world body approved the resolution by consensus — without a vote — and with a bang of a gavel by Assembly President Abdulla Shahid.
Israel's arch-nemesis, Iran, "disassociated" itself from the resolution.
The ambassadors of Israel and Germany, which strongly supported the resolution, stressed the significance of the resolution's adoption on Jan. 20: The 80th anniversary of the 1942 Wannsee Conference, where Nazi leaders coordinated plans for the so-called "Final Solution" which resulted in the establishment of Nazi death camps and the murder of nearly 6 million Jews.
"We now live in an era in which fiction is becoming fact and the Holocaust is becoming a distant memory," UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan told the assembly in urging support for the resolution.
"And as this happens following the greatest crime in human history, now comes the greatest cover-up in human history."
Erdan, the grandson of Holocaust survivors, said the resolution is a commitment to make sure that Holocaust distortion and denial "will be tolerated no more."
He said social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are spreading the "pandemic of distortions and lies" about the Holocaust.
"Social media giants can no longer remain complacent to the hate spread on their platforms" and must take action now, the Israeli ambassador said.
The resolution also commends countries that have preserved Nazi death camps and other sites from the Holocaust, and urges the 193 UN member states "to develop educational programs that will inculcate future generations with the lessons of the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide."
It requests the UN and its agencies to continue developing and implementing programs aimed at countering Holocaust denial and distortions and to mobilize civil society and others to provide truthful facts about the Holocaust.
Currently, the UN has an outreach program on the Holocaust and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, has a program on Holocaust education and combatting anti-Semitism.
Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, but do reflect global opinion.