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Genocide Prevention


IHRA Chair Sir Andrew Burns and Honorary Chairman Yehuda Bauer participated in the International Conference on Genocide Prevention that took place in Brussels from 31 March - 1 April.

In a session on the role of Civil Society, moderated by Dr Simon Adams, Executive Director, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), the IHRA Chair Sir Andrew Burns shared the panel with representatives of the Aegis Trust, Amnesty International and the Ethical Journalism Network. The IHRA Chair’s speech entitled “Symptoms and Root Causes: What does the Holocaust tell us?” can be watched here and read here.

The speech held by Yehuda Bauer, Professor of Holocaust Studies at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Member of the Israeli Academy of Science, entitled “Can Genocide and Mass Atrocities Be prevented?” can be watched here and read here.  

The International Conference on Genocide Prevention addressed the fact that despite the Holocaust and other crimes committed by the Nazi regime in World War II, the world has since been exposed to repeated cases of mass atrocities. It was hosted by the Belgian Government and jointly organized by the United Nations, African Union, the European Union, and Belgium.

On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda (1994-2014) and the upcoming commemoration of the July 1995 Srebrenica genocide, building on the work of the 1948 Genocide Convention, the 2004 Stockholm Forum and the 2005 UN World Summit which decided on the principles of R2P, the conference focused on four aspects: (1) the status of academic research on genocide; (2) an integrated international human rights law - international criminal law perspective; (3) role of civil society and (4) parliaments and institutional responses.

Speakers at the conference included Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chair of the Commission of the African Union, Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary General. Representatives of regional and international parliamentary bodies, representatives of participating states, regional international organizations such as the Council of Europe, the European Union and the African Union as well as the United Nations were called upon, at the highest level, to provide reactions and responses to the findings and challenges. The objective of the conference was to consolidate these responses in concise, action-oriented conclusions.

Further information on the conference, including the Chair’s conclusions, speeches, videos and photos, can be found on the conference website.

Photo: Honorary Chairman Yehuda Bauer at the International Conference on Genocide Prevention, Brussels 31 March 2014.