The Auschwitz Institute marks today, December 9, as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. Established by the Sixty Ninth United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 69/323 in September of 2017, the International Day is observed each year on this date to mark the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Often referred to as the “Genocide Convention,” the document outlines the legal definition of genocide and, as of 2019, has been ratified by 152 States from around the world.
Speaking on the 2018 International Day, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres explains:
Among other observances, the United Nations will be holding an official event to mark the International Day in New York. As part of the proceedings, UN Special Adviser to the Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, will moderate a panel entitled “Champions of Prevention – Experiences from the Field”. Three partners of the Auschwitz Institute, all of whom have instructed at, and/or participated in, the Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention, will take part in the panel: Ms. Felistas Mushi, Chairperson of the Tanzanian National Committee on the Prevention of Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and All Forms of Discrimination, Mr. Vahidin Omanovic, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Center for Peacebuilding in Sanski Most, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ms. Wai Wai Nu, Director of the Women’s Peace Network in Myanmar.
On the occasion of the 2019 International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime, the Auschwitz Institute reiterates its strong commitment to the work of building a world that prevents genocide and other mass atrocities through education, training, and technical assistance. In the spirit of remembrance for the victims of atrocities around the world, the Auschwitz Institute urges all UN Member States to ratify the Convention of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and invest in the development and implementation of policies, practices, and mechanisms that protect vulnerable populations.