75 anniversary of the Genocide Convention: we must remain vigilant

ACT Alliance’s General Secretary, Rudelmar Bueno de Faria participated in a side event organized by the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect (UNOSAPG) and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide.

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was the first human rights treaty adopted by the General Assembly on 9 December 1948 in the wake of the Second World War and the Holocaust.

The event “A Living Force in World Society: The Legacy of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”, aimed at highlighting the legacy and impact of the Genocide Convention and the challenges that remain in the prevention of genocide.

“With the surge in violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism and religious intolerance in many societies and across faiths, religious leaders and faith-based organizations have an important role to play in preventing the instrumentalization of religious beliefs and promoting respect for all faiths”.

Mr de Faria said:

« The criteria outlined in the Convention offer a comprehensive and clear definition of the acts that constitute genocide. As we examine conflicts unfolding around the world today, it becomes evident that many meet the criteria outlined in the Convention. However, a disconcerting parallel narrative often emerges, driven by political and military interests, seeking to undermine the principles of the Convention. This undermines the collective responsibility we share to prevent and respond to such atrocities.

These interests sometimes distort the narrative surrounding conflicts for strategic gain, deflecting attention away from the true nature of the crimes being committed. In some instances, these interests may intentionally downplay or misrepresent the severity of actions that clearly align with the criteria for genocide. This manipulation of information not only hampers international efforts to prevent such atrocities but also obstructs justice and accountability.

In light of these challenges, it is crucial for the international community to remain vigilant and uncompromising in upholding the principles of the Genocide Convention. We must resist the distortion of narratives for political or military gain and hold those responsible for genocide accountable, regardless of their affiliations or geopolitical significance. »

ACT Alliance also produced a video contribution to mark the occasion.