UN marks 65th anniversary of Genocide Convention

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Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson

Genocide can be prevented if people act in time to stop human rights violations.

That's the message delivered by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson at an event to mark the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The Convention was adopted on 9 December 1948 during the first session of the UN General Assembly largely in response to the crimes committed by the Nazis against Jews and other minority groups during the Second World War.

"In the work that we are starting now which we call rights up front, we are trying to identify human rights violations as a first sign of a crisis evolving. If we were to act on human rights violations rather than waiting for the house to be on full fire we could save many lives and the dignity of Man. So here is very important work for us all to do. That means genocide is enabled when we remain silent or unable to act. But, and this is crucial, it also means that we can prevent it." (29")

Today, more than 140 countries have become parties to the Genocide Convention.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration: 1’18″

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