Human Rights Council urged to find ways to address ethnic and religious tensions

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Adama Dieng

The United Nations Human Rights Council has been urged to find ways to address ethnic and religious tensions and prevent them from resulting in atrocities.

The call came from Adama Dieng, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide on Thursday as the Council wrapped-up its High-level segment in Geneva.

He said the lessons from the mass murders in the Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda and Srebrenica have not been learnt, adding that the consequences of ignoring the signs of an approaching genocide are well known.

Mr. Dieng said the Holocaust was a horrific, unique experience, but only an extreme version of what the populations had suffered before the 20th century and would suffer again afterwards.

"Today we are witnessing a dangerous increase in ethnic and religious tensions in various regions and have seen extreme violence in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sudan and Syria to name just a few. While we cannot correct the failures of the past, we can at least learn from them and strive to create mechanism that can help us prevent these atrocities from happening again." (32")

Mr. Dieng said this is not an easy task and requires dedicated commitment and political will.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 1'28"

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