December 11, 2014 - 16:05 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Not a single country is immune to the risk of genocide, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide said as he marked the 66th anniversary of the signing of the 1948 Genocide Convention.
“As we continue to fight and to realize the objectives, we pay tribute to the millions of men and women who have lost their lives to genocide,” Adama Dieng, the special adviser, told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York, as part of a series of events in the run-up to Human Rights Day commemorated on Thursday, Dec 11.
“Genocide must and can be prevented if we have the will of applying the lessons learned from Rwanda, Srebrenica, and the Holocaust,” he said, while underscoring the need for identifying risk factors that would lead to genocide rather than to wait to when people are being killed.
“The Holocaust did not start with the gas chambers and the Rwandan genocide did not start with the slayings. It started with the dehumanization of a specific group of persons.”
Currently, 140 member states are party to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, which was adopted in 1948.
“We must accept that there is no part of the world that can consider itself immune from the risk of genocide and all regions and all States must build resilience to these crimes,” the Special Adviser noted.
“We need to think about the significance of the Genocide Convention and do more on the promise of ‘never again.’ We need political leadership from member states and the courage to take steps that are not always easy,” he said.