Do More to ‘Liberate Humanity from Scourge of Genocide’, Says Secretary-General in Message for International Day

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and the Prevention of This Crime, observed on 9 December:

Today is a day to remember and pay tribute to the victims and survivors of genocides across the world.  It is a day to re-examine our collective failure to prevent this crime in the past, and to redouble prevention efforts for the present and the future.

More than 70 years after the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the threat of genocide remains present in many places around the world.  Discrimination and hate speech, the early warning signs of genocide, are on the rise everywhere.

We must do more to promote strong political leadership and resolute action against these dangerous trends.  We must do more to live up to our commitment to liberate humanity from the scourge of genocide.

I recently visited Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where I had the privilege of meeting survivors of atrocity crimes.  Their moving testimony was a forceful reminder of the individual suffering, pain and horror of genocide and atrocity crimes.

I call on every Member State to take concrete steps to protect communities at risk, including minorities, and address discrimination and persecution.  States have the primary obligation for preventing genocide, but religious and community leaders, civil society, the private sector and the media — including social media platforms, play an essential role.

On this International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide, I urge all stakeholders to use all means at their disposal to prevent and end this crime.

For information media. Not an official record.