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Human Rights Council holds high-level panel on the seventieth anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

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13 September 2018

MORNING

GENEVA (13 September 2018) - The Human Rights Council this morning held a high-level panel on the seventieth anniversary on the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.  

Vojislav Šuc, President of the Human Rights Council, said that the seventieth anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted on 9 December 1948 and succeeded by the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the next day, was an important opportunity for Member States and the international community to reaffirm the significance of the Convention and continue their efforts to prevent and punish the crime of genocide.  In its resolution 37/26, the Council had decided to hold a high-level panel discussion to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the Convention.  

In her opening statement, Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, reminded the Council that the odious scourge of genocide, as described by the Convention, remained a threat and reality in the twenty-first century.  Accountability included impartial investigations, access to justice and effective remedies for victims.  Ms. Bachelet said that in addition to the important work of the Human Rights Council and the United Nations Human Rights Office, the International Criminal Court formed a central pillar of the work to punish, and therefore help prevent, these gravest of international crimes.  The primary responsibility for prosecuting perpetrators remained with the States, but the Court’s use was appropriate where States were unwilling or unable to deliver justice.  She urged all States to sign or ratify the Rome Statute to support the Court and its work.

Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Armenia, recalled that since the adoption of the Convention, “never again” had been uttered so many times, yet genocides had not been fenced off.  Statistics about the status of ratifications and accessions to the Convention were upsetting.  Nearly a quarter of the United Nation members had delayed accession to this core international instrument.  Prevention was a responsibility, which had to be delivered first at the national level.  At the international level, prevention required a continued integrated approach and action.

Adama Dieng, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, and former Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, reminded that throughout history there had been many events that could have been qualified as genocide as defined in the Convention.  Genocide was not an accident, nor was it inevitable.  It was the inaction of the international community in addressing the warning signs that allowed it to become a reality.  Ratifying the Genocide Convention demonstrated commitment to the fundamental principles of the United Nations.  

Kimberly Prost, Judge of the International Criminal Court and former Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, shared her personal experience as an international criminal law practitioner and as a judge of the International Crime Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.  She stressed that the lesson learned from those centuries of cyclical violence was that the only way of preventing genocide was to address the underlying issues, end the cycle of violence and replace vengeance by justice.

William Schabas, Professor of international law at Middlesex University and Professor of international criminal law and human rights at Leiden University, reminded that Raphael Lemkin had a vision of genocide that was much broader than the wording found in the Convention itself.  However, in 1948, many United Nations members had been reluctant to go that far because of their own use of genocide within their borders.  

Fabian Salvioli, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, noted that the Council was the right forum to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the Genocide Convention, and the best way to commemorate it was by showing solidarity with the past as well as current victims who were paying the price of genocidal practices and crimes against humanity.  Such crimes were a call for action and all had to shoulder the responsibility.

Noting that the international community had failed to prevent the most serious atrocities too many times, speakers in the discussion called for more robust accountability mechanisms and focus on prevention.  Genocide prevention went far beyond criminal sanctions.  It should be mostly about fostering structural policies that contributed to a world free of genocide, including human rights education, and measures against xenophobia and racial discrimination.  A genuine culture of prevention should prevail as the only effective way to avoid the loss of human lives.  States needed to put an end to impunity, prosecute perpetrators, and identify the underlying causes and precursors of genocide.    

Speaking were Tunisia on behalf of the Arab Group, Costa Rica on behalf of a group of countries, Switzerland on behalf of a group of countries, Togo on behalf of the African Group, Netherlands on behalf of a group of countries, European Union, Lithuania on behalf of a group of countries, Czechia, Montenegro, Liechtenstein, Venezuela, Australia, Ecuador, Cuba, Greece, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Senegal, Brazil, Turkey, Italy, Sudan, Iraq, and Rwanda.

The following non-governmental organizations also took the floor: World Jewish Congress, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development Forum-Asia, Center for Global Nonkilling, Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l'homme, Human Rights Watch, Verein Sudwind Entwicklungspolitik.


The Council will next meet to continue the clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to development and with the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights.


Opening Remarks by the President of the Council

VOJISLAV ŠUC, President of the Human Rights Council, said that the seventieth anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted on 9 December 1948 and succeeded by the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the next day, was an important opportunity for Member States and the international community to reaffirm the significance of the Convention and continue their efforts to prevent and punish the crime of genocide.  In its resolution 37/26, the Council had decided to hold a high-level panel discussion to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the Convention.  

Keynote Statements

MICHELLE BACHELET, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, reminded the Council that the odious scourge of genocide, as described by the Convention, remained a threat and reality in the twenty-first century.  They had been brutally reminded of this just two weeks ago when the Council’s Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar issued its shocking report on the military-led campaign of murder, rape and assault against the Rohingya people of Rakhine state, which according to conservative estimates left at least 10,000 dead, countless more bereaved, maimed, raped and traumatised, and forced three-quarters of a million persons to flee to Bangladesh.  

Recent acts perpetrated against the Rohingya and Yazidis proved the importance of holding responsible those who committed grave crimes, evident even 70 years after the adoption of the Genocide Convention.  Ms. Bachelet said that punishment was the key to prevention.  Impunity was an enabler of genocide: accountability was its nemesis.  In her view, accountability included impartial investigations, access to justice, and effective remedies for victims.  Referring to a study on transitional justice, she said its central message was clear: transitional justice processes helped prevent violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and in particular genocide, war crimes and ethnic cleansing.
 
Ms. Bachelet said the study highlighted that in addition to the important work of the Human Rights Council and the United Nations Human Rights Office, the International Criminal Court formed a central pillar of the work to punish, and therefore help prevent, these gravest of international crimes.  Now, they had the means to bridge, if not eradicate, the impunity gap for international crimes, including genocide.  The primary responsibility for prosecuting perpetrators remained with the States, but the Court’s use was appropriate where the State was unwilling or unable to deliver justice.  She urged all States to sign or ratify the Rome Statute to support the Court and its work.

She concluded with a reminder that genocide was never committed without clear, multiple warning signs: a pattern of abuse against a group, an intent to harm, a chain of command and, finally, a brutal and horrifying outcome.  In the case of the Rohingya, those warning signs abounded, with systematic State-led human rights violations going unpunished for decades.  A remaining challenge was to improve the recognition and then action on those warning signs, including hate speech.  It remained essential that all stood up for the great vision of a more humane and peaceful world.  

ZOHRAB MNATSAKANYAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Armenia, noted it had been 10 years since the adoption of the first Armenia sponsored Council resolution 7/25 on the prevention of genocide.  Since than the normative framework had consistently evolved.  Since 1998, Armenia had been consistently working within the United Nations to raise awareness on the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.   He was honoured to share the panel with Ms. Michelle Bachelet and Mr. Adama Dieng.  Mr. Mnatsakanyan also paid tribute to Raphael Lemkin a profound lawyer who had dedicated his entire life to challenging the right to kill behind the thick curtain of sovereignty, as well as to Benjamin Whitaker, who had initiated the idea of establishing an impartial international body for the prevention of genocide in his Whitaker report in 1985.  It took a long time until in 2004 then Secretary-General Kofi Annan had endorsed the proposal for the prevention of genocide, marking it as “complicity with evil”.  Current Secretary-General António Guterres was also praised for sustaining the Office of the Special Adviser for the prevention of genocide.

Since the adoption of the Convention, “never again” had been uttered so many times, yet genocides had not been fenced off.  Statistics about the status of ratifications and accessions to the Convention were upsetting.  Nearly a quarter of the United Nation members had delayed accession to this core international instrument.  Prevention was a responsibility which had to be delivered first at the national level.  At the international level, prevention required a continued integrated approach and action.  There were practical proposals by the Special Adviser concerning the systematic and structured approach within the United Nations to information gathering, analysis and dissemination of early warning signs, as well as support to regional arrangements and Member States.  The role of education was indispensable in promoting a culture of peace.  In 2015, Armenia had established a Global Forum against the crime of genocide, offering a solid platform for international cooperation for the prevention of genocide.  Armenia was duty bound to contribute to collective international efforts in preventing future genocide so that “never again” would be uttered once and for all.

Statements by the Panellists

ADAMA DIENG, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, and former Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, reminded that the crime of genocide had not started with the Genocide Convention.  Throughout history there had been many events that could have been qualified as genocide as defined in the Convention, and the international community continued to be confronted with situations that, if put to the test in a court of law, could also be determined to be genocide.  In the Central African Republic, Iraq, Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and so many other places, people had suffered the most terrible crimes under the watch of the international community.  But genocide should not be part of humanity’s present or future.  It was not an accident, nor was it inevitable.  It was the inaction of the international community in addressing the warning signs that allowed it to become a reality.  The collective failure to prevent the crises that set the context for the crime of genocide to happen had disastrous human and economic consequences.  Enormous loss of life, massive displacement of people, collective trauma that lasted for generations, devastated economies, and development set back by decades.  The consequences went far beyond national borders.  Ripple effects could be felt regionally and even at an international level.  Genocide could indeed constitute a threat to international peace and security.  

Mr. Dieng reminded that a total of 149 States had ratified or acceded to the Genocide Convention.  However, 45 United Nations Member States had yet to join the Convention.  Of those, 20 were from the African continent, 18 from Asia, and the remaining seven from the Americas.  The lack of commitment from such a large number of States was puzzling.  Ratifying the Genocide Convention was a matter of moral obligation towards humanity.  It represented a recognition of the responsibility of States towards their populations and showed respect for those who had perished as a result of that crime.  The Convention had formed the basis of action aimed at the prevention of the crime of genocide and it had also played a vital role in the development of international criminal law.  Ratifying the Genocide Convention, more than being simply a symbol of international unity, demonstrated commitment to the fundamental principles of the United Nations.  There could be no justification for not doing so, Mr. Dieng concluded.  

JUDGE KIMBERLY PROST, Judge of the International Criminal Court and former Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, shared her personal experience as an international criminal law practitioner, in particular as a judge of the International Crime Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, during which she had participated in the largest trial handled there with seven accused.  She had listened for four years to the tragic experiences of witnesses and survivors of the Srebrenica genocide.  Her Trial Chamber had received a vast amount of evidence, involving over 300 witnesses and almost 90,000 pages of documents, detailing what had happened during the attacks on Srebrenicia and Zepa in July 1995.  The circumstances and architecture of the Srebrenica genocide were not unique to that particular occasion, said Ms. Prost.  These atrocities arose from a foundation of smouldering bigotry, hatred and ethnic and religious division that had never been addressed, but instead had been covered and repressed by the regimes in place until it was inevitably brought to life again.  She stressed that the lesson learned from those centuries of cyclical violence was that the only way of preventing genocide was to address the underlying issues, end the cycle of violence, and replace vengeance by justice.  

The second tragic lesson from Srebrenica was that evil could arise from unconstrained, absolute power.  From their absolute power, the architects of the genocide thus derived a sense of impunity, a belief in their immunity from consequence and justice.  The reality was that the world preceding these atrocities shared that belief, since the lessons of Tokyo and Nuremberg were quickly forgotten after these trials happened, and many culprits responsible for similar crimes lived out their lives in their own country or in peaceful exile.  Today, the exact same culture prevailed: power safeguarding atrocity, accountability as an uncomfortable word, no possibility of justice for victims, and a culture of impunity.  She feared that if it continued, this culture would lead the world to another generation of genocide and atrocities.  The only hope, continued Ms. Prost, was to speak law to power and to answer atrocity with justice and not revenge.  The International Criminal Court did not replace sovereign authority to address these crimes, but rather complemented it.  The Court was created to motivate States to take up their responsibility to investigate and prosecute these terrible crimes, and it would become most effective only when universal adherence was achieved for it.

WILLIAM SCHABAS, Professor of International Law at Middlesex University and Professor of International Criminal Law and Human Rights at Leiden University, said that the Genocide Convention was created not specifically because of the atrocities that happened during the Second World War, but for the fact that genocide had occurred throughout history.  Examples included the crimes committed against the Herero in German South-West Africa in the early twentieth century, or the Armenian genocide under the Ottoman regime.  Winston Churchill said that genocide was a crime without a name.  Indeed, it was until a man named Raphael Lemkin invented it.  Mr. Lemkin had a vision of genocide that was much broader than the wording found in the Convention itself.  His definition would include a range of punishable acts.  However, in 1948, many United Nations members were reluctant to go that far because of their own use of genocide within their borders.  So, he agreed that the definition include “national, ethnic, racial and religious groups”, as he saw the Convention as an extension of treaties created at the end of the first world war.  Its adoption was critical, particularly after the Second World War, as the deep seeded faults within society were evident during the Holocaust.

For the 40 years following the adoption of the Convention, international criminal law had not developed in any significant manner, yet the Genocide Convention was left unchanged, like a bastion of legal development.  Although it remained unchanged, the concept of genocide as stated in the Convention had become less significant, perhaps because of the failure of many States to sign it.  The word genocide was used in many senses.  When interpreting its application in the Convention, it was used narrowly, however, there were other meanings of genocide that were given as well, which focused on the atrocities and crimes in a more general sense.  The broad approach was favoured by activists and journalists, and even diplomats at times, for it was “the crime of crimes.”

FABIAN SALVIOLI, Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-recurrence, said that the Council was the right forum to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide.  The best way to commemorate the Convention was by showing solidarity with past but also with current victims who were, with their own blood, paying the price of genocidal practices and crimes against humanity.  Such crimes were a call for action and all had to shoulder the responsibility.  The value of the Convention had to be recognized.  According to the records, the negotiations during the drafting of the Convention had been very difficult, but at the end, they had led to its adoption by consensus in the General Assembly.  Following its adoption, the President of the General Assembly had said it was an event that would make history.

Genocide was closely connected to the sphere of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, said Mr. Salvioli, as transitional justice was the way to move forward following such crimes.  What was the most effective way to prevent genocide?  It was the same answer that was evident even after the first day following the adoption of the Convention by the General Assembly: recognition of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.  This was the roadmap given to follow for all States.  The existence of societies where human rights would be fully realized, where a culture of peace would be promoted, this was the best prevention of hateful crimes.  As for the role of the international community, article 8 of the Convention had been debated and even voted to be eliminated.  At the end it was decided to keep that article, which outlined the necessity of prevention and suppression of acts of genocide.  As for the role of the international community, Mr. Salvioli quoted Raphael Lemkin who said it was simply the matter of the right people doing the right thing at the right time.  If he were in this room right now, Mr. Lemkin would ask whether they had the right people at the right time to do the right task.

Interactive Dialogue

Tunisia, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, stressed the importance of remembering crimes of genocide as an occasion to also remember the pain of the victims and the suffering of the communities that needed the support of the international community.  It was important to identify the root causes of genocide, such as ethnic discrimination and hate speech, in order to combat this crime in all its dimensions.  Costa Rica, speaking on behalf of a group of countries, stated that acts of genocide were not resolved overnight but took many years to process, which made urgent the imperative of strengthening the legal mechanisms to combat atrocities.  To ensure the prevention of genocide and atrocities, it was important to combat discrimination, while education and development could also help.  Switzerland, speaking on behalf of a group of countries, said that Global Action against Mass Atrocity Crimes provided a platform for States, organizations, and individuals to share and support good practices for the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide.  The record of prevention of the Convention on Prevention of Genocide made the legal imperative to prevent atrocities as urgent as ever.

Togo, speaking on behalf of the African Group, welcomed the commitment of a number of African States to prevent genocide, and reaffirmed the crucial importance of international collaboration.  It cited the presence of various policies and programmes implemented in regions and sub-regions of Africa to ensure the prevention and the punishment of genocide.  Netherlands, speaking on behalf of members of the Group of Friends of R2R, stressed the presence of a growing body of evidence of terrible crimes committed against the Yazidi in northern Iraq.  They encouraged Member States which had not yet done so to ratify the Genocide Convention, and to cooperate with the International Criminal Court.  European Union stressed that the prime focus of the Human Rights Council must be the prevention of atrocities, notably through the commitment to the 'responsibility to protect' doctrine set out in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, as well as the Human Rights Up Front initiative launched by the United Nations.  The recent findings of the Independent Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar showed that many of the violations that were investigated amounted to the gravest crimes under international law.

Lithuania, speaking on behalf of a group of countries, stressed that much progress had been made in the fight against impunity for perpetrators of atrocities through the establishment of the International Criminal Court.  Nonetheless, more robust accountability mechanisms as well as focus on prevention was needed.  Czech Republic was aware that due to political realities and the legal definition of genocide, convictions for the crime of genocide were difficult and rare.  Impunity for the crime of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity encouraged their reoccurrence.  Montenegro strongly believed it was important to improve early warning systems and the anniversary served as a reminder to prevent genocide and punish the perpetrators and bring them to justice.  Coordination between the Security Council and the Human Rights Council had to be improved.

Liechtenstein stressed that no genocide took place in a vacuum or in isolation; clear signs preceded it.  The problem was not that the international community lacked information; it lacked the political will to act, although the establishment of the International Criminal Court was a change for the better so States were invited to ratify the Rome Statute.  Venezuela said that atrocities were being committed with complete impunity against the Palestinian people and the Rohingyas.  There was a need to reform the methods of work of the Security Council, and it was also time for the General Assembly to hold a debate on the responsibility to protect.  Australia said that the international community had failed too many times to prevent the most serious atrocities, including in Cambodia, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.  States were called on to uphold their responsibility to protect and support the Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes.

World Jewish Congress said that despite 149 countries being party to the Convention, too many civilians were still targeted for who they were or what they stood for by murderous regimes.  There was also a worrying increase in attempts to deny the crimes those victims were subject to; there was a collective responsibility to ensure that victims were never forgotten.  Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development Forum-Asia said that in Asia, alarming cases of mass atrocity crimes persisted in several countries, including Myanmar, which was the latest example in the region.  They asked how the action plan and human rights pillar of the United Nations could be strengthened to prevent genocide.  Centre for Global Nonkilling stated that no one had the right to kill, adding that legitimate self-defense using non-violent means should never result in death.  As long as the right to life was not respected, acts of genocide would continue to be committed.  

Ecuador noted that education and capacity building were fundamental to efforts to prevent genocide and said that the compliance of States was critical in bringing to justice those responsible for crimes against humanity.  Cuba said that the United States’ blockade against Cuba was political absurdity and also a systematic human rights violation of the Cuban people.  Cuba condemned all violations that were in direct contrast with the spirit of the Convention.  Greece highlighted their support for the International Criminal Court, as they were a proud original signatory to the Rome Statute, and the imprescriptibility of the crime of genocide, which entered into their legal system in 2011.  

Russian Federation underlined that it was important not to forget that the horrific crimes committed during the Second World War had given rise to the Genocide Convention, and that those crimes were the results of inhumane ideologies.  Unfortunately, politicized actions had seriously discredited the idea of international justice, as exemplified by the ongoing refusal of some countries to cooperate with the International Criminal Court.  Slovenia strongly supported all efforts to prevent genocide and other mass atrocities.  A genuine culture of prevention should prevail as the only effective way to avoid the loss of human lives.  Senegal regretted that 70 years after the adoption of the Genocide Convention, genocide still remained a scourge.  States needed to put an end to impunity and to prosecute perpetrators.  Identifying the underlying causes and precursors was key to the prevention of genocide.    

Brazil noted that genocide prevention went far beyond criminal sanctions.  It should be mostly about fostering structural policies that contributed to a world free of genocide, including human rights education, and measures against xenophobia and racial discrimination.  Turkey called on all States parties to the Genocide Convention to honour their obligations.  At the same time, it deplored that the perpetrators of grave violations nowadays were more often than not descendants of the victims of yesterday.  Italy said that it was convinced that the Council could play a unique role in the prevention of gross violations and abuses of human rights.  It asked the panellists whether the current multilateral system was adequate to prevent and punish the crime of genocide.  

Sudan stressed that the enjoyment of all human rights, including freedom and dignity, was the objective of the people of Sudan.  To do so, the Government's transitional constitution worked consistently to put Sudan’s international commitments in line with its own national legislation.  Iraq had been confronted with terrorism from ISIS, that had committed serious crimes against unarmed communities of Iraq six decades after the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide was established.  Iraq urged the Member States to consider these crimes as war crimes, to help Iraq gather evidence against ISIS, and to help bring justice for the victims of these atrocities.  Rwanda said that, in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda undertook a number of measures toward the implementation of the Genocide Convention, in order to eradicate the roots and ideology of genocide and reconcile its people.  Rwanda asked how the international community could concretely respond to increasing cases and new manifestations of the denial of genocide that undermined the implementation of the Genocide Convention.

Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme said it was the bitter reality that many countries had a complete disregard for the International Criminal Court.  The main challenge on the African continent was the complete impunity of perpetrators.  Human Rights Watch said that this year was also the twentieth anniversary of the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court was needed more than ever.   The veto by permanent members of the Security Council of a much-needed resolution referring Syria to the International Criminal Court was the best example of the disturbing trend for impunity.  Verein Sudwind Entwicklungspolitik said that the minimum requirement against genocide was the global ratification of the Convention, which was still not ratified by 44 United Nation Member States.  Human rights defenders of Iran were gravely concerned that the State turned to war and genocide to escape the poor governance and the economic crisis resulting from unilateral coercive measures.

Concluding Remarks

ADAMA DIENG, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, and former Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, said that one minute was not enough for closing words, so he would provide written responses and circulate them.  Internationally, a system that would put people at the heart of the international community’s concerns was needed, before considering the political interests of States.  As for protecting populations from atrocities, investing in structural prevention at the national level was essential.  National risk analysis was important.  The African Union was praised for having issued a communiqe calling for the ratification of the Convention and other human rights treaties.

KIMBERLY PROST, Judge of the International Criminal Court and former Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, said that the independent impartial and international mechanism and other similar mechanisms were essential for prevention work.  As for the improvement of the international framework, she agreed that it was needed, but first the global ratification of both the Convention and the Rome Statute was needed.  The Council had to continue shedding light on atrocities and call for accountability.

WILLIAM SCHABAS, Professor of International Law at Middlesex University and Professor of International Criminal Law and Human Rights at Leiden University, provided a historical footnote to end the panel, explaining how Raphael Lemkin had attended the reading of the judgement at the Nuremberg trial and had been unhappy because they had confined crimes against humanity to crimes committed in relation with armed conflict.  That was imposed by the four great powers who were concerned about their own exposure on the subject.  He then returned to attend the first United Nations General Assembly where he found support for his proposal for a resolution on genocide from the countries of the South.  He said that the Genocide Convention was in fact one of the first international legal initiatives that came from the Global South.

FABIAN SALVIOLI, Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-recurrence, noted that the responsibility to protect entailed many responsibilities.  Prevention had to be done through education, and there were many lessons learned already.  Early warning systems had to be used.  The Council had to work together with treaty bodies, Special Procedures and the High Commissioner to ensure a holistic approach.  Support to the International Criminal Court had to be ensured as well.

VOJISLAV ŠUC, President of the Human Rights Council, thanked the panellists and concluded that organizing this panel was the right task to do at the right time and with right people.

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For use of the information media; not an official record

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