Genocide can be prevented with information and mobilization

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Shelves filled with skulls as a reminder of genocide. UN Photo/John Isaac

Genocide can be prevented with information and mobilization, as well as with courage and political will, according to the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.

Jan Eliasson spoke at a Security Council briefing which on Wednesday focused on lessons learned from the failure of the international community to prevent the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

Twenty years ago this April, Hutu extremists slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in a period of 100 days.

Back then, Colin Keating, the former Ambassador of New Zealand to the UN, was serving as Security Council President.

Today, he is calling for enhanced effective diplomacy.

A toxic accumulation of events unfolded and eventually embroiled the whole region. Twenty years later you are still dealing with the consequences in the DRC. If we truly want prevention to work, then we need better political, and operational and financial mechanisms for the Council and the wider UN system to achieve better outcomes. (0'27")

Keating suggested that the cost of investing in such mechanisms would be insignificant when set alongside the dreadful human, political, and financial costs of inaction.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration:  1’20″


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