UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide urges vigilance

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Adama Dieng, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Brussels. Credits UNRIC, Brussels.

Friday, 10 November 2017 - “Genocide is the ultimate form of discrimination. We have to move today from early warning to early action”, stressed the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Mr. Adama Dieng, to his European counterparts in Brussels this week.

“Many failures of the past are the result of a lack of vigilance. It is wrong to think that atrocities cannot take place in a democratic Europe given the rising populism, antisemitism and islamophobia”. Hence, Mr. Dieng called for strengthened cooperation in the prevention of conflicts and vigilance in Europe and welcomed the EU’s commitment to move in the same direction as the UN. The EU will soon develop a tool similar to the UN Framework of Analysis for the Prevention of Atrocity Crimes.

Mr. Dieng also expressed his concerns about the current state of affairs across the globe. 128.6 million people now require humanitarian assistance in 33 countries. In Myanmar, despite the recent UN Security Council call for action to end excessive military force in Rakhine State, allow unhindered access to the UN and transparent investigations into allegations of human right abuses and violations, the situation remains dire. “Myanmar shows the dangers involved if we do not act in time. Human dignity must be respected in every part of the world so that with more political will and accountability we can improve capacities not only to prevent conflicts but also prevent atrocity crimes”, he said.

Preventive diplomacy along with closer collaboration towards improving prevention is a key priority for UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the hope is for countries around the world to start implementing tools such as the Plan of Action for Religious Leaders and Actors. A vision shared by Mr. Dieng who underlined the importance of implementation because “it is simply not enough to adopt a document but what is important is to start turning words into concrete actions. “