The world’s disturbing inaction as the Genocide Convention turns 70

This month marks the 70th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This is a foundational piece of international law that was born out of the mass atrocities committed by the Nazi regime against European Jews during the Second World War.

Despite the passage of time, we can still find inspiration in the example of Raphael Lemkin. After fleeing to the United States when he lost his family to the Holocaust, Lemkin campaigned for the establishment of an international law to define and forbid genocide. When his resolution proposing the Genocide Convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, it became the UN’s first human rights treaty.
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Kofi Annan understood the limits of diplomacy, as well as why it’s important never to give up

Kofi Annan served as United Nations Secretary-General during a pivotal decade in modern world history – from 1997 to 2006. I would argue that his most important legacy was to focus the UN more on preventing and resolving deadly conflict within its sovereign members, while still trying to maintain peace and security among them.

How he developed and pursued ways and means to do this began much earlier in his UN career and persisted until his untimely death last week.
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Open letter: Urgent Need for Independent International Inquiry on Yemen

Joint NGO letter to Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the United Nations Human Rights Council
Urgent Need for Independent International Inquiry on Yemen

We, the undersigned nongovernmental organizations, urge you to support the creation of an independent international investigation into violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in Yemen since the start of the current conflict. This is a call that has been made since 2015 by national, regional, and international civil society organizations, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Security Council Panel of Experts on Yemen. The number of abuses, and the need for credible international investigations, has only increased since 2015.
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