Armenia together with its partners has been working within the UN towards enhancing the legal norms and institutional structures of genocide prevention, Armenia’s acting Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said at the concert in Yerevan dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Mr. Mnatsakanyan noted that the Convention - the first international agreement on human rights - greatly contributed to the creation of international criminal law.
“Genocide was qualified as a crime worthy of condemnation by the civilized world and for which both the criminals who carry out this atrocity and those who are complicit shall be punished,” he noted.
“Since 1998, Armenia together with its partners has been working within the UN towards enhancing the legal norms and institutional structures of genocide prevention. Early prevention mechanisms are aimed at rapidly identifying and responding to those impulses and alarming signs, whose ignorance may result in large-scale human losses,” the acting FM said.
He noted that the number of such threats remains high and added that there are increased cases of grave violations of human rights and humanitarian law which cause civilian deaths.
“All this demonstrates that the world has entered a period where states more and more frequently violate international obligations,” he stated.
“Manifestations of hate, extremism, racism, xenophobia and discrimination continue to shake the world, by primarily targeting national and ethnic minorities. Denial and impunity are the main obstacles to prevention. Denied justice continues to pursue generations of Genocide survivors and hinders real reconciliation. We know this from our own experience,” Zohrab Mnatsakanyan noted.
He stressed that the 70th anniversary of the Convention is an opportunity to once again turn the international community’s attention to the fight against genocide and the importance of prevention.
“Armenia has indeed been at the forefront of this undertaking. Today we paid tribute to Raphael Lemkin, a prominent lawyer and the author of the notion “genocide” and the Convention on Genocide who dedicated his life to the fight against this atrocity,” he said.
“The universal ratification of the Convention on Genocide is yet another step towards guaranteeing its implementation. Armenia, as a country that has consistently pushes forward the genocide prevention agenda, including within the framework of the United Nations, has heeded the call of the UN special counsel on the universalization of the Convention and, using a range of UN procedures, including the opportunity for universal periodic review, has raised this issue, inviting the attention of UN member states to the importance of this question,” he noted.
Based on the initiative of Armenia, in 2015 the UN General Assembly declared December 9th, the day the Genocide Convention was adopted, as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime.
“Armenia is obliged and resolute to make its input in continuous collective efforts of the international community to prevent future genocides by continuously stating the “never again”.
Armenia, by founding back in 2015 the Global Forum “Against the Crime of Genocide”, provides a firm platform for international cooperation on Genocide prevention. With this concert, I declare the Yerevan Third Global Forum, dedicated to the issue of preventing genocide through education and culture, to be open,” Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said.
Armenia will host the 3rd Global Forum against the Crime of Genocide on December 9-11 on the 70th anniversary of the adoption of Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
The forum has been organized with the support of the UN Office of Genocide & the Responsibility to protect & in cooperation with the International Association of Genocide Scholars.