‘World has failed’ victims of genocide too often: Guterres

UN Photo/Violaine Martin Marking the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda (2019).

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Too often, “the world has failed” populations under threat of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing, Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of Genocide on Monday.

Marking the day at a round table event, Chef de Cabinet Maria Luiza Viotti spoke on behalf of the UN chief, saying that, genocide remains “a scourge…causing great suffering”.

“On this day we remember and pay tribute to the victims of the horrendous crime of genocide” she stated, encouraging all to reflect on what can be done to uphold the responsibilities set out in the Genocide Convention.

She maintained that the devastating impact on the victims, communities and society as a whole “can take generations to overcome and heal”.

“Acting quickly to early warning signs and investing in early prevention can save lives and prevent attempts to destroy vulnerable groups, in whole or in part”, Ms. Viotti said.

Pointing to people facing systematic discrimination or becoming targets of violence simply because of their identity, she stressed that “we must act, both to defend those at immediate risk and those who could be in jeopardy in the future”.

“By promoting a culture of peace and non‑violence that includes respect for diversity and non‑discrimination, we can build societies that are resilient to the risk of genocide.”

The imperative to prevent genocide is not only moral, it is a legal obligation set out in the first article of the Convention, putting the prevention of genocide in the hands of each State. But civil society, religious leaders, media outlets and teachers also play an important role.

“Across the world, we are seeing an alarming surge in xenophobia, racism, antisemitism, anti‑Muslim hatred and attacks against Christians, often fed by nationalist and populist ideologies”, she said.

Underscoring the importance of investing in prevention, Ms. Viotti spoke about two UN initiatives, namely the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech and the Action Plan for the Protection of Religious Sites, explaining that they “aim to galvanize our work and to encourage contributions from these partners, working hand in hand with States”.

“It is important on this day to recognize that the Holocaust did not start with the gas chambers, nor did the genocides in Rwanda, Srebrenica or Cambodia start with mass killings” she flagged.  “They were all preceded by discrimination, hate speech, incitement to violence and the dehumanization of ‘the other’”.

In conclusion, the Chef de Cabinet encouraged everyone to “pay tribute to the victims of this egregious crime by remembering their suffering and by recommitting to equality and prevention, not only in our words but in our actions”.

Education is ‘key’

Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, opened the event with a focus “on ways in which we can all contribute to the prevention of genocide”, noting that religious leaders have a “particularly important role”.

“When they promote messages of peace and inclusion, they are actively contributing to prevention”, he indicated.

Discussions examined prevention tools, such as education programmes, which were seen as key to addressing the root causes of intolerance and discrimination, prevention of crimes against humanity and genocides.

The UN General Assembly designated 9 December as the commemoration day in 2015.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How to fix our planet: the pioneers fighting to bring nature back

Illicit trade endangers the environment, the law and the SDGs. We need a global response

Latin America’s cities are ready to take off. But their infrastructure is failing them

Inside the battle to counteract the COVID-19 ‘infodemic’

EU Parliament: ECB accountable for not supporting real economy

The space internet race is dawning. Here’s what to expect

North Koreans trapped in ‘vicious cycle of deprivation, corruption, repression’ and endemic bribery: UN human rights office

‘Reasons to hope’ for sustainable peace in Central African Republic – UN Mission chief

Rare earths are the new battlefront in the US-China trade war. But what are they?

MEPs cap prices of calls within EU and approve emergency alert system

Refugee resettlement: ‘Tremendous gap’ persists between needs, and spaces on offer

IMF: Sorry Greece it was a mistake of 11% of your GDP

This Filipino journalist is fighting for press freedom in COVID-19 lockdown

The global response: Working together to help the world get better

Improving Italy’s capital market will boost growth opportunities for Italian companies and savers

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

State aid: Commission approves €380 million German rescue aid to Condor

EU Trust Fund Bêkou for the Central African Republic extended until 2020

What are Asia Pacific countries getting right in the fight against cancer?

Malaysia can show the way towards a holistic model for human rights

UN condemns deadly attack one of its vehicles

Brain Drain remains a crucial and unresolved issue

Schengen: new rules for temporary checks at national borders

EU-China: Council authorises signature of the agreement on geographical indications

Informal meeting of heads of state or government, Sibiu, 09/05/2019

Europe’s poor investment in digital is threatening prosperity. Here’s what its start-ups need

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: mental health, conflict prevention, Ebola in Uganda, Sudan protests, child labour

Canada leading the way on women’s inclusion and empowerment, says OECD

Eurozone to enter the winter…

New rules make household appliances more sustainable

Hurricane Dorian: Bahamas death toll expected to rise as thousands remain missing

Parliament boosts efforts to improve its environmental performance

Why strive for Industry 4.0

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

How ‘small’ is Europe in Big Data?

Greener economies and investment to reduce unemployment and increase global growth

5 factors driving the Chinese lawtech boom

Release of prize-winning Reuters journalists in Myanmar welcomed by UN

What the Amazon rain forest tells us about globalization

Eurozone governed by an obscure body and gray procedures

Pharmaceuticals in the environment: Commission defines actions to address risks and challenges

Libya stands at a ‘critical juncture’, UN mission head tells Security Council

To realise the full potential of AI, we must regulate it differently

This is how India can become the next Silicon Valley

‘Time is of the essence’ for refugees on Greek islands – UN agency

These fishing pioneers are making it easier to eat sustainable seafood

Joint EU-U.S. statement following the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting

Sexuality and ageing: challenges of achieving sexual rights in people with HIV

The Indian case: health policies need to keep pace with public health literacy

What are the real targets of EU’s efforts to fight tax evasion?

Rising insecurity in Central Africa Republic threatens wider region, Security Council told

Bid to raise $5.5 billion for millions of Syrians and their host communities

ECB: Monetary policy decisions

Multilateralism’s ‘proven record of service’ is focus of first-ever International Day

External action: more funds for human rights, development and climate change

Safe drinking water, sanitation, are ‘basic human rights’: new UN Water Development report

‘Dire consequences’ for a million children in the Middle East, North Africa, as funding dwindles

What is the Coral Triangle?

Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants kick off a global migration search movement

Our idea of what makes a company successful needs to change. And it starts with making waste expensive

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s