Not a single country is immune to the risk of genocide, said the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide today 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,” said Mr. Adama Dieng as he briefed reporters at UN Headquarters in New York, as part of a series of events in the run-up to Human Rights Day, commemorated annually on 10 December.
“We owe to them and to ourselves and future generations to realize a world free of genocide. We are still far from that, but we aim to make it happen,” he added. “Genocide must and can be prevented if we have the will of applying the lessons learned from Rwanda, Srebrenica, and the Holocaust. It is important to identify risk factors that would lead to genocide rather than to wait to when people are being killed…”
Answering a question on Gaza, he said he was not here to make a legal determination of genocide but analyse the risk of genocide. Last summer’s conflict may have led to crimes against humanity or war crimes. He was aware of Israel’s disproportionate military response. But when you send rockets from a civilian area, like Hamas did, that is a crime as well.
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