Marking International Day, Secretary-General Stresses Convention on Genocide ‘Must Remain a Living Force in Our World’, Be Translated into Tangible Action

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:

Seventy-five years ago, in the wake of the horrors of the Holocaust, States adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The Convention embodied a new global commitment to ensure that “never again” should any person endure the horror of genocide.

Sadly, we are in danger of forgetting the dark lessons of the past.  In today’s world of deep division, mistrust and conflict, we remain confronted by the enduring menace of this atrocious crime.

This year’s theme reminds us that the Convention and its timeless message must remain a living force in our world, calling us to uphold its solemn promise.  Keeping this promise requires all governments ratifying and fully implementing the Convention, while ensuring that perpetrators are held to account.

It requires a renewed global push to establish and strengthen prevention mechanisms, educate new generations about past genocides, and counter mis- and disinformation, which can fuel hate speech and genocidal intent and action.

And it requires continuing to strengthen the efforts of the United Nations — including the work of my Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide — to identify early warning signs and sound the alarm.

Together, let us translate our commitment into tangible action, and forever hold the memories of the victims and survivors of genocide in our hearts.

For information media. Not an official record.