Didier Reynders engaged in International Conference: "Genocide prevention, is it possible?"
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda (1994) and in view of the upcoming commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide (1995), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders has taken the initiative to hold an international conference on the prevention of genocide. The conference will be held on 31 March and 1 April in the Egmont Palace in Brussels.
Since the end of the Second World War, the international community has been concerned with the need to prevent genocide and to punish those responsible. On 9 December last year, we celebrated the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” (1948).
According to this Convention, genocide is committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such. This is not a phenomenon that occurs from one day to the next or without warning signs. It is a matter of a political process that develops and of which the consequences become manifest over a long period of time for the victims, the survivors and the perpetrators. The repercussions can be felt far beyond the borders of the country affected. It is therefore imperative to understand its causes.
The purpose of the International Conference on the Prevention of Genocide is therefore to bring together actors and national, regional and international experts in order to develop effective and practical policy tools for the prevention of genocide. These should constitute the foundation for the participating Member States and for regional and global organizations to develop mechanisms that allow intervention when the first signs of the risk of mass atrocities appear. The ultimate objective is respect for human rights and the establishment of a just and lasting peace.
The complete programme is available at the website: www.genocideprevention.be. The 2-day conference will consist of the following four components: academic, legal, social and institutional responses. The Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon will participate in the ministerial policy session that will conclude the conference on 1 April.
This event is organized by the Egmont Institute and the FPS Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the European Union, the African Union and the United Nations.