Armenia highlights the need for well-defined objectives that contribute to the prevention of genocide

Armenia believes that it’s necessary to set well-defined and measurable objectives that contribute to the prevention of genocide, Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office at Geneva Andranik Hovhannisyan said at the Intersessional Meeting of the Human Rights Council on the Prevention of Genocide, which was mandated by the HRC resolution 43/29 initiated by Armenia and unanimously adopted in 2020.

The Ambassador said “Never Again” is not just a promise uttered but an action fulfilled for the sake of a world free of the most heinous crimes known to humankind.

“It is not a naïve appeal to reform the conduct of human beings and their morality, rather an effort to ensure that national and international actors abide by the common rules and standards whenever they identify that humanity and morality are degraded to an extent that may lead to crimes against humanity,” he noted.

“The recent violence that unfolded in our region, recalling the horrors of past atrocities, has once again demonstrated the need to identify failures and challenges faced by international mechanisms to effectively counter the odious scourge from its inception. The #HRC resolution 43/29 has identified that justification, biased accounts or denial of past instances of genocide may increase the risk of reoccurrence of violence. It further identified genocide denial as a form of hate speech,” Amb. Hovhannisyan said.

“The primary focus of the consistent international action against the hate speech – and genocide denial as a distinct form of it – should address all instances of genocide denial that is initiated, supported, and induced by a State. Involvement of a State in promulgation of such ideas and theories through textbooks and official, government-sponsored historical societies, absence of a proper reaction by the authorities to hate speech are clear signs and early warning signals of an imminent and looming threat. Such a conduct by a State is a continuous violation of human rights of victims and their descendants. Moreover, that is a clear indication that no meaningful action has been taken to guarantee non-recurrence of the genocidal acts. The descendants of perpetrators do not bear the guilt until they choose to justify it and identify themselves with it. Hence, it is of utmost importance to put an end to impunity as an effective tool for ensuring prevention,” he stated.

He stressed the need to set well-defined and measurable objectives that contribute to the prevention of Genocide. “One of such objectives would be universalization of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. We made it a standing recommendation that Armenia delivers in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review. We believe that with every new State acceding to the Convention one more step is being made towards prevention of genocide.”

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