By Samantha Semoso – EMTV Online
The United Nations has marked the first International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime to remember the victims of the “crime of crimes”. and to call for action against the rise of hostility, xenophobia and intolerance across the world.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message on the Day that there is a need to pay more attention to the warning signs, and be prepared to take immediate action to address them.
Genocide does not just happen, it unfolds overtime,” Ban said.
“It is not part of the accidental ‘fallout’ of conflict; most often, it is systemic, planned with precise targets and it can also take place outside of conflict situations,” he said.
“On this new international observance, let us recognise the need to work together more concertedly to protect individuals from gross human rights violations and uphold our common humanity”.
At UN Headquarters in New York, the world body marked it’s first-ever commemoration of the International Day.
UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, who chaired the event, said the have two important elements: “It is about the past, and also about the future.”
“This day represents both memory and action – memory as a step towards action,” he said.
“We owe a solemn and serious such pledge to those who have lost their lives to this, the most atrocious of crimes. We owe it to their families. We owe it to the survivors and the communities who carry the lasting physical and emotional scars from genocide,” he stressed.