Reflecting upon over 70 Years of the Genocide Convention: Challenges and ways forward in atrocity prevention
In December 2018, the international community marked the 70th anniversary of two major achievements of the twentieth century: the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The international community agreed on these groundbreaking documents with a view to "never again" allow atrocities as those committed against the Jews and other groups prior and during the Second World War. Both documents reflect that to prevent genocide and other atrocities, human rights must be safeguarded and protected.
More than 70 years on, genocide and other atrocities are still committed in many parts of the world. This reminds us that no society is immune and that much remains to be done to prevent these crimes effectively.
For this reason, it is important to identify success stories, share good practices and reframe prevention from urgent crisis management to sustainable early and permanent prevention, which requires solid national policies and mechanisms.
Each year during the month of April, many people around the world dedicate time for remembrance and commemoration for the victims of genocide in observation of the "Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month".
This event will provide an opportunity for governments, civil society organizations and practitioners to take stock of achievements and failures in atrocity prevention in the 70 years since the adoption of the Genocide Convention and explore recommendations for better prevention in the future. Drawing on lessons learned shared by the expert panel, a discussion will take place with participants about measures that the atrocity prevention community can and should be taking to better protect vulnerable populations from these heinous crimes. Emphasis will be placed on how the Genocide Convention has fortified action at the domestic level and how to build upon and learn from past experiences.
This event is co-hosted by members of the GAAMAC Steering Group and organized with the support of the GAAMAC Support Office based in Geneva.
- Ms. Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina and former President of the International Criminal Court
- Ms. Felistas Mushi, Chairperson of Tanzania’s National Committee on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes and all Forms of Discrimination
- Mr. Wichert ten Have, Advisor to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)
- Mr. Iniyan Ilango, Independent Human Rights Advocate
The panel will be chaired by Ms. Mô Bleeker, GAAMAC Chair and Swiss Special Envoy for Dealing with the Past and Prevention of Atrocities.